The level of traffic congestion on Galway’s roads is simply not sustainable on any level according to Deputy Catherine Connolly.
Deputy Connolly said; “It is causing great frustration among motorists on a daily basis, it is interfering with our competitiveness and severely impacting on our ability to deliver on our commitments under climate change legislation. Indeed it has now been confirmed by the Government that not only will we fail to meet our 2020 commitments but also our 2030 commitments under the Paris Agreement.
“This failure will inevitably result not only in substantial financial penalties but will also have a detrimental impact on our environment. And yet, once again, the city council is pursuing a new road with more traffic as the only solution in town. This road has been costed at a minimum of €30 million per kilometre for a 16.5km road, amounting to almost half a billion and that is just the beginning. In addition, 40 houses will be demolished and over two thirds of the city council’s residential zoned land will be frozen intensifying Galway’s housing crisis.”
Deputy Connolly described these proposals as utter madness and there had to be a change of policy as a matter of urgency.
The Galway West TD welcomed the recent statement by Conor Faughnan, director of consumer affairs with the Automobile Association (AA ), calling on all stakeholders to urgently re-examine the case for light-rail in Galway city.
Deputy Connolly said that stale responses from the Minister for Transport, Tourism, and Sport, Shane Ross and from the city council that there is insufficient demand to justify light-rail are no longer acceptable given the challenges that Galway and Ireland face with climate change.
Deputy Connolly added; “It is not possible to celebrate and promote Galway as the European Capital of Culture without sustainable transport and the building of communities. It is essential that we have long-term, sustainable, planning given the expected growth of our city and the problems posed by waiting lists even in newly constructed schools and the ongoing congestion at Parkmore due to lack of forward planning.
“The provision of light-rail in the city is the clear and unambiguous solution and both community and business groups must come together to ensure the provision of light-rail in the city.”