Update – Irish Water “seriously considering” left turn at road works

 

Highland Radio understands that following an extensive discussion on today’s Nine til Noon Show, Irish Water is now investigating the possibility of allowing a left turn at the junction of Pearse Road and Paddy Harte Road.

Businesses in Letterkenny say they’re at their wits end as a result of the road works being carried out by Irish Water, with a downturn of up to 30% being reported.

Speaking on today’s Nine Till Noon Show, Andrew Brolly, Financial Operational Officer with Evolve Clothing claimed Irish Water has been continually ignoring their concerns…….

Leonard Watson is President of Letterkenny Chamber, he says they’ve decided to go public with their concerns because of the very real threat to business and jobs which exists at the moment.

He says the chamber, the council, and others have a job to do to restore confidence in Letterkenny…..

Full text of Press Release – 

BUSINESS COMMUNITY CALLS STOP!!
On 3rd December 2018, local businesses, supported by the Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce,
engaged in discussions with Irish Water, Donegal County Council and the project contractor
Cleantech. At that meeting, we sought clarification on the works and the schedule for same.
On 21st February 2019, some 11 weeks prior to commencement of works, we made the following
proposals to Irish Water:
1. To put a left turn in place at the junction affected by the works. This would negate the need
for a diversion and avoid additional congestion on Pearse road and Main Street;
2. To ensure that the traffic management plan included full daytime cover on all necessary
junctions on Pearse road, Main Street, and in the Old Town area and have provision to deal
with unexpected spikes in traffic;
3. To employ a works plan that allows for additional teams to carry out works in the evenings
and at the weekends to shorten the length of the 21 week project considerably;
4. To carry out the daytime works on the dual carriageway from the Dry Arch roundabout to
the Polestar roundabout at a different time to these works.
In response, Irish Water stated that:
 They would explore our proposals;
 That a left turn was not an option;
 That the Dry Arch to Polestar works would not have a significant impact on Letterkenny;
 That they would take immediate action if any issues arose during the works.
We again met with the contract parties on 11th April 2019 and we were disheartened to learn that
no formal review of our proposals was carried out. We reiterated our concerns and told Irish Water
and Donegal County Council that the current plan will cause severe traffic issues and lead to
significant damage to business and loss of jobs. We again met on 2nd May 2019 and again asked
them to take our proposals on board and implement them.
It became obvious, however, after one week that the works were having a significant impact on
Letterkenny.
 We immediately contacted Irish Water and Donegal County Council to voice our concerns;
 We then issued a letter on 24th May 2019 calling for the works to cease until an appropriate
solution is found;
 We contacted An Garda Síochana immediately and they offered to assist with traffic
management and we are thankful for their ongoing commitment to provide necessary
resources.
At a meeting with Irish Water and Donegal County Council on Thursday 6th June, some two weeks
after our letter request, we were informed that:
 They were considering our proposals and would revert within a few days. This is despite the
fact that we made the proposals 16 weeks prior to this meeting;
 They believe traffic flow has improved – we have told them that this is because traffic
numbers have decreased significantly.
We note that as of today, 12th June 2019, neither Irish Water nor Donegal County Council have
proposed any solutions and they have refused to suspend the works until one is found. At present:
 Businesses, across Letterkenny, are suffering losses of up to 30%;
PRESS RELEASE – 12TH JUNE 2019 – WORKS ON THE PEARSE ROAD/OLD TOWN AREA
 Businesses cannot sustain this level of loss and job losses are likely unless a solution is found;
 We have proposed the only real solution to the issue and it has been ignored to date.
We are once again calling on Irish Water, Donegal County Council and Cleantech to agree to:
 Suspend the works with immediate effect;
 Take the time needed to find an appropriate solution.
Quite simply, the current works programme is unacceptable!
Finally, we would like to remind everyone that Letterkenny is open for business and your support is
crucial. At peak times, allow a little extra time and please continue to support local business and
jobs!
PRESS RELEASE – 12TH JUNE 2019 – WORKS ON THE PEARSE ROAD/OLD TOWN AREA
TIMELINE – ATTACHMENT TO PRESS RELEASE
August 2018 – Irish Water and Donegal County Council had an information evening on planned
works. We voiced our concerns and were assured that we would be consulted throughout the
process.
3rd December 2018 – We met the Irish Water and Donegal County Council regarding the Pearse
Road/Old Town works. We voiced our concerns again and asked for clarification on the works and
the timeline for same.
21st February 2019 – We again met with Irish Water and Donegal County Council and they outlined
the 21 week project. We made it clear that these works would have significant impact on
Letterkenny unless certain measures were taken. We made proposals to them.
21st February – 11th April 2019 – We maintained contact with Irish Water and Donegal County
Council and reiterated the need for our proposals to be put in place. They said there would be no
left turn, despite them already have access to private lands for the works period. They refused the
option of additional teams and weekend work.
11th April 2019 – We again met with Irish Water and Donegal County Council and sought answers as
to why they could or would not implement our proposals. They again refused to put a left turn in
place despite the fact that they have access to lands which could possibly provide that relief route.
They again refused to provide additional teams and weekend work.
2nd May 2019 – On the final meeting opportunity, before the works commenced, we implored Irish
Water and Donegal County Council to take necessary steps to shorten the works period and ensure
traffic flowed. They refused and stated that the works programme was in place now and stated that
adequate traffic management plans were in place.
13th May – 23rd May 2019 – As soon as the works began, there were numerous emails and phone
calls between us and the Irish Water and Donegal County Council. We made clear that the works
were having significant impact on Letterkenny and that a solution was needed quickly.
24th May 2019 – Numerous businesses and the Chamber of Commerce issued letters calling for
suspension of the works until a solution is sought and found. This was in response to a number of
days of traffic jams in Letterkenny. As of yet, they have refused to do this.
6th June 2019 – We were scheduled to meet Irish Water and Donegal County Council and we made
clear that this works programme is not working. They refused yet again to suspend the works and
stated that they would have a plan to deal with the issues within a few days. As of yet, we have
received nothing.