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Dublin: 1 °C Sunday 15 December, 2019
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'Like a flash flood of snow': Transport agency says 'compounding' of events caused delays yesterday

Thousands of motorists were caught in long tailbacks in the snow yesterday afternoon.

Traffic in difficulty on the Curragh Plains in Kildare yesterday
Traffic in difficulty on the Curragh Plains in Kildare yesterday
Image: Rollingnews.ie

TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE IRELAND (TII) has said that a “compounding” of events caused long delays on a number of roads around the country yesterday.

Thousands of motorists were caught in long tailbacks yesterday afternoon, as snow and poor visibility hit sections of the M4, M7, M8 and M9 motorways.

One woman who was travelling from Cork to Dublin with her five-month old baby told RTÉ Radio’s News at One that she spent more than seven hours in her car on the journey, which normally takes under three hours.

“It was a very long day, and my poor husband was exhausted from being behind the wheel for so long,” Louise O’Connor told the show this afternoon.

She said delays were compounded by a number of collisions on the way, as well as roadworks on the N7 near Newbridge.

“I think the information didn’t get out in time. We wouldn’t have travelled if we knew it was bad. We were expecting rain, but we weren’t expecting snow,” Louise said.

“I think the information on the overhead signs needed to be up to date. We passed a few, and there was no information at all on them.”

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

TII Director of Corporate Communications Sean O’Neill told the show that signs were up-to-date yesterday, and insisted that information about delays was circulated via other channels.

“We were treating the roads, we did notify AA Roadwatch, we were getting out the alerts on AA Roadwatch and in the media,” he said.

“The problem with this event is that it was too compounded by an incident in which the gardaí had to close the road. That caused backups.

“Traffic wasn’t able to get off the road, and ploughs weren’t able to get out and deal with it. It was almost like a flash flood of snow.”

O’Neill also defended the closure of roads by gardaí while they dealt with collisions, saying they had a duty of care to the public to do so.

He added that while it was unfortunate that traffic had to be disrupted as a result, gardaí had to take a “safety first” attitude when closing roads.

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