Motorway signage was working during snowfall, says TII

One motorist says it took seven hours to travel from Cork to Dublin on Sunday evening

A section of the M7 motorway. Photograph: Google Street View

A section of the M7 motorway. Photograph: Google Street View

 

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

Seán O’Neill said 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,” he told RTÉ Radio’s News at One.

Earlier on the same programme, a woman named Louise O’Connor said it had taken 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, she said.

“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,” she said.

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,” she said.

However, Mr O’Neill said that Transport Infrastructure Ireland had contacted AA Roadwatch 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 said. “The difficulty was everything happening at the same time,” he said.

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,” said Mr O’Neill.

He said it was hoped current restrictions on the M7 would be removed in April when all three lanes would be operational. Temporary reductions in speed limits have been in force for some time amid road works.