A former mayor has demanded that turning restrictions on traffic be lifted at one of the busiest junctions on the east side of the city, on the basis that the current system is creating a danger for both pedestrians and motorists.
Independent Galway City East councillor Declan McDonnell has called for the lifting of the ban on right turns for traffic approaching the Moneenageisha junction on the R338 Dublin Road/Moneenageisha Road.
According to the councillor, the ban - introduced in 2015 - has created a ‘rat run’ situation, where drivers will go through the Wellpark shopping centre or through the Huntsman bar and restaurant property.
“It has become a dangerous situation and an inconvenience for people working there and those using the facilities in these two commercial areas," he said, adding that he is aware of a number off instances where such 'rat running' has resulted in a number of people "nearly being knocked down by cars speeding through".
'I am calling on the council to revert back to the original system at this junction and allow right turns from all directions. It worked fine before and it will again'
He pointed out that cars and trucks coming in from the Dublin Road were also turning right into the Wellpark shopping centre to gain access to the Monivea Road, which they cannot do at the traffic lights. Meanwhile, drivers coming from Bohermore, who want to get onto College Road, are going through the lights, then turning right into the Huntsman and driving through that area to head towards the city centre and Lough Atalia.
Cllr McDonnell said the ban was originally introduced as a temporary effort to improve traffic flow while work was going on at the Lough Atalia bridge, but was retained by the Galway City Council after the works were completed.
"It is time to end the danger that had been unwittingly created and remove the turning restrictions at the junction," he said. “In the interests of safety, I am calling on the council to revert back to the original system at this junction and allow right turns from all directions. It worked fine before and it will again."