Donabate fury over traffic ‘meltdown’ after works cause two hour delays

by Sylvia Pownall
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Gardai were forced to halt road works in Donabate last week as commuters missed key appointments because of two-hour tailbacks.

A subcontractor who carried out resurfacing works during rush hour which were supposed to be done overnight has been blamed for the “utter chaos”.

Motorists reported that five-minute journeys took well over an hour – and the 33B bus from Portrane to Swords took two hours for what is normally a 40-minute trip.

Local Cllr Adrian Henchy (FF) wrote to Fingal County Council to express his fury, demanding that in future these works are carried out at night.

He said: “What happened yesterday in Donabate, traffic-wise, was an absolute disgrace and there should be very serious repercussions for any contractor who was in breach of their traffic management arrangements.

“To see irate gardai shouting at road workers yesterday evening at 5pm to immediately stop working because of the utter chaos the workers were causing is just a terrible situation for all parties concerned.

“The amount of emails and messages I got yesterday and today was unprecedented, and in a number of cases caused significant distress for people.

“I was canvassing last night in Donabate and the anger and frustration expressed at the doors was palpable.

“No warnings were given and no one was on the ground yesterday to manage the unfolding situation.

“It was total gridlock in all areas of the peninsula, with tailbacks for miles in all directions.”

Warning that a repeat of the fiasco would not be tolerated, Cllr Henchy demanded that works be carried out at night until the new distributor road is opened.

He added: “Given the amount of works being carried out at present, there also needs to be a central coordinated approach across all departments within Fingal County Council so every road opening licence is very carefully managed.

“We cannot have a situation arising where a main contractor blames a subcontractor for traffic problems.”

A spokesperson for Fingal County Council told Dublin Gazette the gridlock arose “as the main contractor of the resurfacing scheme sub contracted out the iron works.

“The sub-contractor did not comply with the order given for night time works only in this area.

“I am fully aware of the implications of decisions we take and the potential impact on the area and it is not in the interest of Fingal County Council to cause traffic congestion.”

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