Offaly ambulance drivers foresee problem with Tullamore's new streetscape





Paramedics have expressed concern over traffic delays and the narrowing of roads as the new Tullamore streetscape works near completion.

Speaking to the Offaly Express, a paramedic said that while there is "not much issue going to calls, it's a nuisance going back to the hospital [Tullamore] when you can't go down through the town."

"There is also an issue with all these streets being made narrower to allow for wider footpaths. It leaves no space for traffic to pull over and allow an ambulance to pass. High Street in Tullamore is a prime example," they continued.

An ambulance was, in fact, delayed on Wednesday afternoon, October 9, as it tried to get through the centre of Tullamore. 
The ambulance came over the Kilbeggan Bridge with its siren on but was held up initially as it approached the first set of traffic lights.

William Street is currently down to one lane from the junction with Harbour Street to the junction of Patrick Street due to streetscape works. Here the ambulance was delayed with a full line of traffic filling the road and the lights were red at the junction with Patrick Street.

Workers on the streetscape site began to quickly stop the traffic from Patrick Street and wave through the traffic blocking the single lane in use of William Street so the ambulance could make its way through. However, even as the cars, a van and another ambulance moved through, they had difficulty getting out of the way due to the narrowing of Bridge Street and High Street.

As it reached the top of High Street, the ambulance was again delayed for a short time at a stop-go system that was in place before it eventually managed to continue on its call. 

While the works are temporary and are due to finish in November, this incident highlights an issue that will be ongoing once the works are completed.

Offaly County Council has been contacted for comment on this story.