A FIANNA FÁIL Councillor has accused a Kilkenny-based driving school of “flagrantly disregarding” Waterford’s bylaws by operating articulated lorries through the city streets, often at peak times. Cllr Jason Murphy told the Waterford News & Star that he sees trucks from Ormonde School of Motoring, who are based on Upper New Street in Kilkenny, “almost every day”.
“The council recently introduced a number of additional five-axle bans in the city, and it doesn’t look like they’re being enforced,” Cllr Murphy said. “The reason and effect of these bans is two-fold, first to help alleviate and relieve traffic congestion and secondly, and perhaps most importantly, to reduce harmful emissions that can damage the environment and the air quality in our city. It is extremely disappointing to see a commercial driving school based in Kilkenny flagrantly disregarding our bylaws and causing considerable traffic disruption around our city at peak times when families and individuals are either going to work or on the school run.”
The Waterford News & Star contacted Waterford City & County Council to seek clarification on the five-axle ban and its enforcement.
“There is a five-axle ban in place on a limited number of streets in the city centre, i.e. a space encompassing the Quays from Rice Bridge to Tower Hotel, The Mall to Colbeck St and Lady Lane to Michael St. through George’s St to the Quays,” a Council spokesperson said. “The ban is in place between 11am and 7pm daily (excepting deliveries within the area) and is policed by the Gardaí. Waterford City and County Council would liaise on an ongoing basis with the Gardai as issues arise and would be aware that the Gardaí do carry out enforcement of the ban.”
The Waterford News & Star observed Ormonde School of Motoring – and a number of other commercial vehicles – openly ignoring the five-axle ban on five separate days last week. Ormonde School of Motoring were contacted for comment but have not yet replied.
“At a time when many local authorities around the country are considering introducing congestion charges to discourage heavy vehicles using cities as ‘through roads’, I am calling on our Gardaí to enforce the bylaws which already exist to prevent this behaviour,” Cllr Murphy added. “I am also calling on Ormonde Driving School to consider blocking up their own town instead of contributing to traffic congestion in my city.”