Galway Racecourse should be used as a park-and-ride facility serving major employers in Parkmore Industrial Estate in order to alleviate current traffic gridlock, Dep Hildegarde Naughton said this week, even though IDA Ireland has indicated that this is not feasible as a short term solution.
The Fine Gael deputy called on Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government Simon Coveney to implement a park-and-ride at the racecourse to offset to the ongoing gridlock when the Minister visited the city at the weekend.
Dep Naughton met Minister Coveney in Galway last Friday to discuss the issue. The meeting was also attended by a representative of Medtronic, the city’s largest employer based in Parkmore.
Deputy Naughton has also raised the matter with Minister for Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor with the view to urging the IDA to examine the option of the racecourse as a priority.
“There is talk of incorporating a link road in future plans for the N6 Galway City Transport Project, but that’s of no consolation to thousands of workers currently facing gridlock on their daily commute,” said the Galway West TD.
“We can’t afford to wait for design, planning, and procurement processes involved in major infrastructural solutions, particularly after the recent application by the IDA was turned down,” she said. “This is affecting our competitiveness as a destination for foreign direct investment, and it is affecting the quality of life of thousands of employees based in Parkmore and thousands more commuters who travel these routes every day.”
Meanwhile IDA Ireland has said it is ruling out the use of the racecourse for park-and-ride in the short term, though it may form part of a longer-term plan for the area.
The organisation met the Parkmore Traffic Action Group this week to discuss the ongoing traffic gridlock, and a working group has been set up to examine possible solutions to the problem.
A proposal to build a new link road to the estate was rejected by An Bord Pleanála last week.