Waterford City and County Council said it understands the frustration and thanks residents for their patience relating to on-going street redesign work in the city.
The city is redesigning a number of streets to give more space to walking and cycling. While the design of the infrastructure is not quite of modern Dutch standard, on some streets it comes closer than any project in an Irish city centre.
Traffic changes at Railway Square/Manor Street/Bath Street are temporarily postponed until January 11 2018 due to technical difficulties, the council said this week.
Local radio station WLR FM reported that Sinn Fein Councillor John Hearne said the changes will be worth it in the long term.
Cllr Hearne said: “There’s 16 streets at the moment dug up…they want to get it done in the one go and get it finished with rather than have one street every year dug up…so there’s a big push now to get it done. We’re hoping people will bear with us for the moment.”
In a statement, the council said: “Waterford City and County Council acknowledges the public’s frustration with increased journey times and traffic disruption as we phase in signalling and layout changes at Railway Square, Manor Street and Bath Street.”
The council said the changes are part of the Waterford City Centre Urban Renewal Scheme, supporting the policy objectives of the Waterford City Development Plan (2013-2019), including the “provision of a citywide cycle network to link all areas of the city to each other via main routes”.
It added: “We ask for your patience during this transition. There is an acknowledged delay with the traffic signalling/sequencing at the Bath Street, Manor Street junction and this will be alleviated as the new one-way system at these streets begins on January 10th 2018. This should improve some of the congestion in that immediate area. It is also planned to upgrade the College Street/Hennessy’s Road areas to make them fit for the anticipated levels of traffic (e.g. improved lighting and pedestrian facilities).”
“In the meantime, we once again acknowledge your frustration and thank you for your patience. Citizens are encouraged to read the Chief Executive’s Report on the Waterford City Centre Urban Renewal Scheme, which is available as a link below and on our website. This summary document includes reference to traffic changes, our planning for same, as well as more specific answers to concerns raised during the public consultation process.”