Complaints as Swords water works cause traffic delays

by Sylvia Pownall
Cllr Newman examining the water works in progress

Fingal County Council was inundated with complaints over traffic delays in Swords last week with reports of motorists waiting 40 minutes to exit their estate onto the Forest Road.

Unmanned temporary traffic lights at the entrance to Ridgewood estate malfunctioned, resulting in chaotic scenes during morning rush hour.

Cllr Joe Newman (Ind), who saw first-hand the mayhem at the busy junction, contacted the local authority demanding swift action to have the situation resolved.

He told Dublin Gazette: “It’s not good enough in this day and age to just pop up a few mobile light signals to control traffic, especially with the volume of traffic around Swords.
“I have previously asked that the council request professional traffic management companies to handle any major roadworks.”

In a strongly-worded letter to the council, Cllr Newman called for an urgent meeting with Irish Water and said he had “serious concerns” about how the contractor would deal with issues when works are transferred to the Main Street.

Traders on North Street have already raised a red flag and met with Irish Water last month to outline their concerns over traffic disruptions which they say could put them out of business.

A stop-go system was introduced earlier this week at the junction between the Forest Road and Cooks Road to allow for the connection of the new water main to the existing one.

Irish Water says this will be in operation 24/7 for a fortnight, but that flag men will manually operate the signals to reduce traffic impacts from 7-10am, and again from 4-7pm.

The utility company is investing €9 million in the upgrade of the outdated water mains and says while delays and disruptions are inevitable they will be kept to a minimum.

Earlier this week a burst water main disrupted service to customers in Boroimhe and Airside, though Irish Water said it was not related to the replacement project.

In a statement the company said: “The water main is fragile and has a high history of bursts which is why Irish Water is replacing the water main to ensure a more reliable service is provided to customers.

“The replacement of this water main will provide a secure water supply and remove the incidents of bursts in the area. This project will deliver an average water saving of 44 million litres of water every month.”

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