N25 works are not great gas for commuters
Wexford County Council were forced to review the traffic management plan on the first day of the N25 roadworks between the New Ross Road roundabout, at the Maldron Hotel, and Larkin's Cross, when delays left commuters and business owners fuming.
Speaking last week, Cllr Fergie Kehoe said that he received 'well over 30 complaints' within the first few hours of the roadworks.
'These included business owners who were concerned about the delays in the run-up to Christmas. Events in the town are attracting so many people from outside. They were concerned that there could be a drop in people unless something was done immediately,' he said.
Cllr Kehoe said that the issue was brought to the attention of the Director of Services, who was 'unhappy' with the use of an unmanned traffic light.
'There will now be a manned traffic light and the whole system will be monitored over the next number of days,' said Cllr Kehoe on Wednesday.
Although Cllr Kehoe said that there would still be delays, he said that they would be shortened by the introduction of the manned traffic light. However, despite this, motorists still faced delays of up to thirty minutes the following day.
When asked about the Christmas timing of the roadworks, he said that the pipeline is 'crucial' to a lot of businesses in the town.
'The sooner the pipeline is in, the better for businesses in Wexford,' he said. 'I feel that it is necessary. Leaving it after Christmas is still going to cause problems.'
'From the point of view of doing business in Wexford and creating employment in Wexford, this needs to be done.'
Cllr George Lawlor echoed his views, saying that they are 'anxious' to get the gas pipeline in place.
'It is most unfortunate that the road is affected at the busiest time of the year. However, our main priority is to get the gas pipeline in when there are hundreds of jobs dependent on it,' he said. 'We do also want to see people coming into Wexford in their droves for Christmas shopping. So we will have to marry them both.'
CEO of Wexford Chamber Madeleine Quirke said that accommodating the new gasline is a 'priority' that will 'eventually benefit everybody'. However she added that she did sympathise with anyone caught in traffic and said that she hopes it won't discourage people from doing their Christmas shopping in Wexford.
'If travelling to Dublin or any other large city, people would inevitably get caught up in traffic jams. It's part and parcel of our culture,' she said. 'In saying that, I hope the County Council can perhaps look at the situation and ensure the least inconvenient journey for drivers.'
The roadworks will continue daily between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Wexford County Council have informed people that the works will be weather dependent and subject to change.
Cllr Kehoe said that he wished to remind motorists that there are several alternative routes to Wexford available.