County Hall chiefs have come under fire following a ‘complete breakdown in our transportation system’ in the aftermath of yesterday’s snowfall.
With more snow expected and temperatures set to dip even further over the coming days, motorists have been warned of icy roads and treacherous conditions.
Commuters faced chaos yesterday morning, with some reporting journey times of up to three hours from areas within 20 miles of the city.
Those coming into the city from Kinsale, Carrigaline, Crosshaven and Bandon faced exceptional delays.
Icy conditions led to collisions on minor and major roads throughout the county, which exacerbated the issues
But even roads without collisions saw huge tailbacks build up before peak time and in some cases, they took several hours to clear.
Cork city had its own issues, particularly on hills.
Senator Tim Lombard said: “We had a significant snowfall but not a major one, we just seemed to grind to a halt. 10 months ago we had a huge snow event and I don’t think we’ve learned much from it.”
Both Cork City and County Council defended their response to the weather conditions, which had been forecast well in advance.
“Salt treatment may not be fully successful in penetrating packed snow in all locations which was the case on many of the hilly routes,” the County Council said in a statement.
“A lot of the congestion was caused by (understandable) slow-moving traffic and merging lanes.”
Mr Lombard said better communication is needed. “Nobody knew which roads were gritted and that’s a huge issue,” he said.