It will be a shame if Galway loses out on major employment opportunities because of its failure to provide a proper roads network, former mayor Noel Larkin said this week at the oral hearing into the proposed Galway City Ring Road.
Cllr Larkin said that the ring road is crucial to the growth of Galway city as we go forward.
“The sustainabilty of Galway is dependant on this road. We have increasing traffic demands in Galway. In 2013, we had 13,300 vehicle coming into Galway on N6, by 2024 we will have 37,000 vehicles on the N6 alone, not to mentioned the traffic on the other roads. If we don’t facilitate this traffic and the people coming to work, the city will not progress and develop and will go into decline,” he said.
“We are fortunate that Galway has attracted nine of the top ten med companies and major IT companies. Unfortunately when you create employment, it creates traffic woes as well. Most of the CEOs in those companies have expressed frustration at our inaction regarding the delays at rush hour.
“Some say it is hampering their plans to expand in Galway city. It will be a shame if we lose businesses because of our failure to provide proper roads. Some have implemented staggered shifts to help alleviate the problem.
“This road would alleviate it. All our major industrial estates are in east side of the city. This outer ring road will faciltiate all commuters and will relieve a lot of the mental stress and anguish,” he said, adding that the lack of relief on the roads is causing severe stress.
“We have a problem with rat runs to reduce commute times and this is impacting on the residents and young people in estates. As a councillor on the east side, a lot of my constituents express their frustration that there is no outer bypass. We can take the traffic out of the city, we can implement our main plans to put in bus lanes and cycle lanes. At the moment we cannot do this because of all the traffic.”
Cllr Larkin said that if it was needed in 1999 and 2009, it is needed even more now.
“Climate action is foremost in our minds and with the advent of electric cars, emission levels will decrease.
“Most of our bridges are outdated. Some are over a hundred years old and are incapable of taking the level of traffic we have at the moment. If we buold this road, we will be able to have proper bus services and cycle lanes,” he said.
“The M6 and M17 all converge on the east side of the city, so without a ring road the traffic gets congested there.
The ring road will disperse it throughout the city. Future growth and sustauinabily of Galway city is dependent on this road,” he concluded.