Chamber welcomes new N6 but worries what will happen traffic once it hits Galway

Kate Larkin from the Athlone Towncentre pictured at the opening  by Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey TD, of the Kilbeggan to Athlone bypass which was opened just in time for Friday's Athlone Towncentre Ladies Day at Kilbeggan Races.

Kate Larkin from the Athlone Towncentre pictured at the opening by Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey TD, of the Kilbeggan to Athlone bypass which was opened just in time for Friday's Athlone Towncentre Ladies Day at Kilbeggan Races.

Just days after the journey times on the Dublin-Galway road were sliced by the opening of the Moate and Kilbeggan bypasses, Galway Chamber has urged Government to stand by its commitments to the N6 Galway Outer Bypass as it feels that the new road will be worthless if traffic ends up being snarled in the city suburbs.

In a joint statement issued by Michael Coyle, CEO Galway Chamber and Dr Chris Coughlan, Chair, Galway Chamber’s Traffic and Transportation Forum, they said they are concerned about what happens to the traffic when it finally reachs the outskirts of Galway city.

”As of today 60 per cent of the entire 189km major inter-urban route from Dublin to Galway is open to traffic. The remainder of the route is under construction and is on schedule for completion in 2010. However, our major concern is what happens when the motorway finishes at the Garraun junction at the eastern edge of Galway City.

”Speaking at the opening of the N6 Kilbeggan to Athlone scheme Minister Noel Dempsey said that the bypassing of Kilbeggan, , and Moate will reduce travel time by up to 45 minutes as well as improving the quality of life for those living in the areas.

They said that they want to ensure the same for Galway where traffic from the N6 need not pass through the city, but will have the option of accessing the N6 Galway City Outer Bypass.

“This will free our city from unnecessary vehicular traffic and in so doing will facilitate best practice traffic management including priority lane public transport, cycling lanes and pedestrian friendly streets.

‘The N6 GCOB will also boost tourism and commerce to Connemara and the west of the region ensuring that peripherality need not be the death knell of sustainable economic development.

‘We await the outcome of An Bord Pleanala’s hearing due at the end of this month and look forward to a future where quality of life should be ensured regardless of geography. We also urge Government to follow through on the work started on West on Track. The west of Ireland should not have to choose between road and rail.

‘The Minister has said that he looks forward to watching the boost that this new road (ie Kilbeggan/Athlone ) will deliver for the local commercial and tourism industries. Likewise, we in Galway look forward to a decent road and rail network to enhance our work in making this region the best place to work, invest, visit and live,’ they concluded.

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