Council urged by O Laoi to find replacement for dangerous R336
Cllr Seosamh Ó Laoi
A number of county councillors have called on Galway County Council to do all it can to progress work to find a new route to replace the R336 Bearna to Scríb via Ros an Mhíl road as, according to Spiddeal based councillor Seosamh Ó Laoi “there is a dire need for a road out in south Connemara”.
Cllr Ó Laoi made the comments during Monday’s meeting of Galway County Council where the manager’s report on the pre-draft public consultation stage of the Galway County Development plan 2015-2021 was presented. There had been a total of 54 valid submissions made during the consultation process of the draft plan, eight of which were from statutory bodies, and 46 from the general public and other persons/bodies.
A submission from Comhlacht Forbartha an Spideil Teo related to the “proposed new route that is envisaged to supersede the R336 and connect with the proposed Galway City Outer Bypass. The committee called for the termination of the selection process for “choosing a preferred route from the nine routes identified and abort the whole project as put forward” and that “all planning restrictions that were imposed on landowners over which the routes traverse shall therefore also be withdrawn”. The committee proposed that: “The Galway ring road continues west as far as Liopa in An Spiddeal, so that it extends past Na Forbacha and that the route be located far enough north so as not to hinder dwellings in Na Forbacha. This phase can be built because all the lands for the extension of the ring road, as proposed by us, are located within a national heritage area under direct control of the Government and do not come under the European land protection laws.”
In response the manager said: “Professional consultations are currently considering both projects with other interested stakeholders with a view to identifying definite selection routes. There is an extremely strong case for a new route to replace the R336 including the high level of accidents on the existing route. It will be the objective of the draft plan to suport the completion of the Galway City Outer Bypass and to support the completion of the draft plan to support the completion of the new R336 Barna to Scrib via Ros an Mhíl road.”
Regarding the current state of the R336, Cllr Ó Laoi said: “The road isn’t fit for purpose. It’s very dangerous and people will be killed there. This is an opportunity to try to get the road in a sensible area. If the whole process goes much further we will be left with a dilemna.”
Bringing up the issue of planning restrictions while routes are being considered, Indreabhán based Cllr Seán Ó Tuairisg said: “There is hardly any land to build on from Galway to Ros an Mhíl. How can we get rid of all these routes, get it down to one or two?”
Agreeing with this, Cill Chiaráin based Cllr Seosamh Ó Cuaig said that councillors would like to make it easier for young couples to build a home, adding that these route are “limiting people to a great degree”.
A number of councillors, including Cllr Tomás Ó Curraoin and Cllr Peter Feeney, highlighting the constraints set by the rules from Europe and Dublin and that there is traffic chaos in Galway every week. Noting that a cost benefit analysis of the Galway City Outer Bypass came back 6:1, Cllr Feeney said: “It all benefits the people of the west of Ireland. If Connemara is going to prosper it is going to need connectivity in that area.”
Director of services, Kevin Kelly explained that the draft plan will support the development of an alternative route “as there is no line on the map”.