»»Over 4,400 in­ci­dents... in just two years »»Mo­tor­way’s users faced up to 4hr de­lays »»Ma­jor event is re­ported 31 times on road »»Wan­der­ing& dead an­i­mals caused chaos

Irish Daily Mirror - - NEWS - BY KEN FOXE

MORE than 4,400 ac­ci­dents and in­ci­dents were re­ported on our busiest mo­tor­way in less than two years.

Crashes and break­downs on Dublin’s M50 ring road reg­u­larly bring traf­fic to a stand­still with lengthy queues a daily fact of life for com­muters. The scale of problems are re­vealed in a data­base of in­ci­dents, which show more than 200 re­ports of ac­ci­dents, de­bris, tyre blow-outs and other po­ten­tially-lethal in­ci­dents ev­ery month. Trans­port In­fra­struc­ture Ire­land’s Sean O’neill said their fig­ures gave an in­sight into the chal­lenges of man­ag­ing the coun­try’s busiest route. He added: “As more peo­ple are us­ing the road, [there is] sta­tis­ti­cally a greater chance of an in­ci­dent hap­pen­ing. There has been a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the num­ber of peo­ple us­ing the road, 5% to 6% growth in line with eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity. The im­pact of each event is also greater, be­cause get­ting re­sources to an in­ci­dent takes more time as we try to work with lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, gardai, and the fire bri­gade.” Thirty-one “ma­jor in­ci­dents” were re­ported with an­other 737 clas­si­fied as “high pri­or­ity”. The ma­jor in­ci­dents in­cluded col­li­sions, break­downs, ve­hi­cles on fire, and an in­stance of a cy­clist or pedes­trian on the road. Some caused chaos on the road for up to four hours, ac­cord­ing to the data­base. “High pri­or­ity” events oc­curred at a rate of at least one a day with most of them caused by col­li­sions, cars break­ing down or de­bris on the road sur­face. On four oc­ca­sions an­i­mals were wan­der­ing on the mo­tor­way though just one dead an­i­mal was re­ported. Cars were aban­doned dan­ger­ously on the M50 four times and there were 18 sep­a­rate “high pri­or­ity” in­ci­dents in­volv­ing cy­clists or pedes­tri­ans. A driver fell se­ri­ously ill at the wheel four times while other in­ci­dents cat­e­gorised as “high pri­or­ity” in­cluded trucks spilling loads on four oc­ca­sions and one in­stance in which a car was driven the wrong di­rec­tion. More than 1,900 “mod­er­ate pri­or­ity” and 1,700 “low pri­or­ity” in­ci­dents were also re­ported on the road. Break­downs were the most com­mon prob­lem with 1,897 re­ported since the be­gin­ning of 2016, a rate of about three ev­ery day. There were just over 1,000 col­li­sions, at least one a day, while de­bris caused problems on 583 oc­ca­sions. Sixty-one driv­ers ran out of fuel on the mo­tor­way while, on 36 oc­ca­sions, a car went on fire. There were 15 in­stances of driv­ers mak­ing emer­gency calls from the road­side but giv­ing no re­sponse once their call was put through. Thir­teen driv­ers got hope­lessly lost and had to pull in to try to get di­rec­tions while five driv­ers re­ported wit­ness­ing “il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties” on the route. There was one haz­ardous chem­i­cal in­ci­dent re­ported and one in­stance of anti-so­cial be­hav­iour in the data­base. Mr O’neill added: “Peo­ple are hop­ping on and off the M50. They use it as a rat run around the lo­cal net­work. It is a chal­leng­ing but man­age­able na­tional road. It’s the most crit­i­cal eco­nomic cor­ri­dor in the coun­try.”

Ma­jor in­ci­dents are com­mon­place Driv­ers faced lengthy de­lays on M50 TAILBACKS

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