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Traffic tailbacks on the N40 South Ring Road are now a regular occurrence. Pic; Larry Cummins.
Traffic tailbacks on the N40 South Ring Road are now a regular occurrence. Pic; Larry Cummins.

Call for an Operation Freeflow afterCork city logjams

The Government is being urged to increase Garda patrols on Cork roads ahead of the busy festive period.

Labour councillor John Maher and local area representative Peter Horgan are calling on Ministers Shane Ross and Charlie Flanagan along with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to initiate Operation Freeflow to alleviate traffic chaos north and south of the Lee.

Mr Maher said something needs to be done as a single crash has the potential to impact on the entire metropolitan area.

“This is just getting beyond the joke given how many accidents there are daily.

“What’s more, is that one crash in the south side shuts down the road network on the Northside also.

“We need Operation Freeflow to have a visible road policing presence in the city to protect routes from rat runs and chronic congestion.

“This initiative would support public transport also as it would allow buses to keep moving.” “We need to get a handle on this or the Christmas Traffic season will cause even more mayhem.” Mr Horgan urged the Ministers for Justice and Transport to visit the City at peak traffic times.

“The Ministers must come to Cork themselves and see the impact that this traffic chaos is having in communities. While they here they can see the desperate need for better public transport options for the people of Cork north and south. Their apathy is leaving people stuck in their cars for hours. That’s no way to live.” Operation Freeflow was first introduced by the then Minister for Environment Brendan Howlin in December 1996 and the key objective was to ensure that traffic laws were enforced such as keeping junctions, bus lanes and yellow boxes clear.

The call comes as commuters complain of two-hour delays crossing the city in recent times, due to small crashes and increased traffic from events and bad weather.

Thursday night, Halloween, saw the city badly affected by a crash inside in the Jack Lynch tunnel and last week saw early morning commuters delayed significantly due to two southside incidents, a crash and a breakdown.

Traffic congestion and delays have become an increasingly regular occurrence with Gardaí in the Traffic Corps acknowledging there are increased cars on the network and as a result even minor crashes can have a significant impact.