Transport body deny reports that motorway signs weren't working during snow

Transport body deny reports that motorway signs weren't working during snow
Traffic on the M7 Motorway outside Newbridge in County Kildare. Photo: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The communications director for Transport Infrastructure Ireland has denied that motorway signage was not working yesterday during traffic delays on the main Cork to Dublin route.

Sean O’Neill told RTE Radio’s News at One that there had been difficulties because of the “unfortunate timing” of an accident and unexpected snow.

The resultant tailbacks had made it difficult for snow ploughs to get out on to the motorways to clear the snow. “They were stuck in traffic too.”

Earlier on the same programme, Louise O’Connor had told of how it took her seven hours to get from Cork to Dublin on Sunday evening. She and her husband and five-month-old baby were stuck on the M8 and then the M7 for a lengthy period moving just 100m in one hour.

There was no information on the motorway signs. I was keeping an eye on social media and eventually someone suggested an alternative route at Sallins which we took.

Ms O’Connor said that information about the weather and problems on the roads “did not get out on time”. Had they known of the possibility of the conditions she and her family would not have travelled, she said.

“We should have been told about alternative routes. There was no information on the overhead signs.”

However, Mr O’Neill said that Transport Infrastructure Ireland had contacted AA Road watch immediately and there had been alerts on media. He also said that signage had been working.

It had been unfortunate timing because of the serious accident and the severity of the weather conditions, he added. “The difficulty was everything happening at the same time.”

Snow ploughs could not get through because they were caught in traffic. Gardaí had to close the road because of the accident. “The Gardaí have to think safety first which can lead to delays.”

He added that it is hoped that the restrictions on the M7 will be removed in April when all three lanes will be operational.

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