Three Government departments working on solution to Parkmore traffic congestion crisis, says Naughton

Three government departments are collaborating to devise a radical package of measures to address the traffic-congestion crisis at Parkmore on foot of a meeting between Minister Simon Coveney and Galway TD Hildegarde Naughton last month.

Deputy Naughton met with her Fine Gael colleague, along with representatives of Parkmore-based companies and Galway Chamber of Commerce, to discuss ongoing traffic problems affecting the business park on March 3.

There has since been interdepartmental collaboration on the issue between the Department of Transport; the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; and Minister Coveney’s Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.

These three government departments have engaged with a number of other agencies, including Galway’s two local authorities, the National Transport Authority, and the IDA with a view to producing a radical suite of measures to address the crisis.

Welcoming the progress that followed her meeting with Minister Coveney last month, Deputy Naughton, who previously secured €100,000 for design and planning works for the Parkmore Road, said that a number of short-term measures have already been progressed in advance of a more comprehensive strategy.

“I have stressed at all times that both immediate relief and long-term solutions were required in response to this issue, which is impacting on the quality of life of commuters, as well as the attractiveness of Galway as a location for major employers,” she said.

“Already, there have been some capacity improvements at Parkmore junction, as well as improved signal management and upgrades to signal control systems in order to better respond to peak traffic flows.

“In the coming months, there will be an extension to the N6 right-turning lane; and a realignment of the Doughiska junction in order to aid bus access as part of further short-term alleviation measures,” added the Galway West TD.

“Any final solution to this issue also needs to include serious consideration of integrated public transport options and park and ride facilities” she added.

In a detailed letter to Deputy Naughton, Minister Coveney thanked her for bringing the issues to his attention and said that their meeting had resulted in a number of further meetings with the relevant agencies involved, including Galway City Council who are responsible for leading the project.

“I am very pleased with the Minister’s response and the depth of his understanding in relation to this issue since our recent discussion in Galway,” she said.

“While much of the matter is technically within the remit of the Department of Transport, Minister Coveney has helped to bring three departments together on this issue and has placed significant pressure on the local authorities to end delays and act promptly to find a solution to this problem.”

In his letter, Minister Conveney wrote: “I have asked my officials to closely monitor the situation from a local government and planning perspective and to engage with all the relevant statutory agencies, including Galway City Council and Galway County Council to ensure the matter is receiving the highest priority.”

He also stated that officials were currently establishing what potential there may be to revisit an earlier proposal for a new exit from the Parkmore Estate onto the R339/N17 link road, for which permission was previously refused by An Bord Pleanála.

Deputy Naughton said that she was encouraged by the Minister’s response and remained confident that effective solutions would be progressed in both the short and medium term.

“I want to reassure commuters, workers and businesses that their concerns in relation to this issue have been heard, and I will do everything possible to reach both an immediate and a lasting solution to the problem,” she added.

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