Galway has a "golden opportunity" to lead the way in planning and public transport solutions in the State, but only if it adopts an integrated public transport plan to reduce traffic, as part of a comprehensive masterplan for the city.
This is the view of Independent Galway West TD Catherine Connolly, who said such an approach needed to be taken, given the projected rate of growth of the city, and the "very serious challenges" of climate change. "There is a responsibility on the Galway City Council to address these issues," she said.
In 2005, the then Galway City Development Plan included specific objectives for park and ride facilities in the east and west of the city. However these never materialised and suitable sites were not identified. "It is unacceptable, that 14 years later, park and ride has not been rolled out," said Dep Connolly.
'This masterplan must be led by the city council, and must include the Harbour lands, Ceannt Station, and the Dyke Road'
Dep Connolly noted that in the period since that development plan, traffic congestion has "become one of the defining problems of the city and is threatening its prosperity". She also noted that park and ride facilities are no longer enough to address issues of congestion and pollution. She said a wide ranging masterplan is now needed.
"This masterplan must be led by the city council, and must include the Harbour lands, Ceannt Station, and the Dyke Road," said Dep Connolly. "This is a fundamental requirement given that the National Development Plan: Project 2040, which provides for the city to grow by 50 per cent within its existing footprint."