Galway City grinds to halt as outage causes traffic gridlock and costs millions in lost business
From this week's Galway City Tribune
Author: Francis Farragher
~ 3 minutes read
From this week's Galway City Tribune
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The city ground to a halt on Thursday after a power outage at an ESB Networks sub-station in Ballybrit caused mass traffic chaos, early shop and business closures and post offices not being able to pay out pensions.
Close on 8,000 homes and businesses — most of them on the east side of the city — were hit with the outage at 9.40am which continued until after 5pm.
Galway Chamber CEO, Kenny Deery, has estimated that Thursday’s outage will have cost businesses and enterprises across the city ‘tens of millions of euro’ in terms of deals that couldn’t be transacted and shops that had to close.
“There are two major impacts of an outage like this on business – one is on the high street and the other is in terms of international transactions which had to be cancelled,” he said.
“Thursday would have been a really busy day for shops across the city in the run-up to St Patrick’s Weekend, but unfortunately many had to take the decision to close and send their staff home through the morning.
“It has been a really tough day for many, many businesses and industries across the city — huge efforts have been made by people to improvise, but without power, there’s only so much they could do.
“I would conservatively estimate that Thursday’s outage will have cost enterprises and businesses across the city tens of millions of euros,” added MrDeery.
City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath, said that he deeply regretted the traffic congestions and other related problems caused by the outage.
“This only goes to underline how much the city traffic situation is on a knife-edge. It really does underline the importance of having an integrated traffic solution plan put in place.”
A large chunk of the east side of the city including Liosbán, Ballybane and Ballybrit were affected by the electricity outage, with ESB Networks confirming that 7,819 customers were without power.
Galway City Council Head of Transport, Uinsinn Finn, said that an early morning disruption of traffic lights at University Hospital Galway (UHG) and the Newcastle side of the Quincentenary Bridge could have been an indication of problems to come with the supply later in the morning.
“Through the morning, more and more of the junction lights were knocked out due to the power outage including Ballybane, the Tuam Road, Riverside, Liosbán and ThermoKing.”
Morning commuters from the west side of the city took over an hour to reach destinations either in the city centre or on the east side of the town.
Pedestrians too were left to take their lives in their hands, trying to cross at busy junctions without the safety of traffic signals.
(Photo by Joe O’Shaughnessy: Absolute gridlock on the Tuam Road yesterday afternoon).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the March 17 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.
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