Lyons says the Galway City Ring Road has to be delivered

The long-awaited Galway City ring road would transform the lives of people living in Knocknacarra, Salthill and elsewhere in the west of the city, according to Galway City West Independent Councillor Donal Lyons.

He said there was “a sense of utter frustration”, especially among the thousands who have to travel to and from work on the other side of the city, with the amount of time they spend sitting in their cars.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that the ring road would be life changing for so many people. It’s an issue that has come up at house after house as I have been canvassing over the past few weeks.

“People are just fed up, they are sick to the teeth of being late picking up children from daycare, late to see their kids play a football match, late getting to work and medical appointments, late getting home to spend quality time with their families or just getting home to relax after a long hard day’s work.

He said that businesses are also suffering, with the amount of time deliveries can take in bumper to bumper traffic around the city. And thousands of people from the county are going to Athlone and Limerick to shop, rather than getting stuck in Galway’s traffic nightmare.

“We are losing out too on inward investment that would create thousands of jobs -- they are going somewhere else in the country, where the commute times to and from work are not such a major factor in people’s lives.”

Cllr Lyons said that he felt hugely frustrated by the length of time it has taken to progress the project, which would involve building an 18km ring road from east to west and a new bridge over the Corrib.

“An Bord Pleanála messed up in December 2021 when they failed to take into consideration the newly enacted government climate action plan in granting permission for the ring road to proceed.

“And that led to the decision being quashed by the High Court in January of last year, when the court sent it back to the planning appeals board for fresh consideration.

“In January of this year, the board referred the project back to Arup, who are the main consultants, for further information.

“They have been given a deadline of September 2024 to update all the relevant reports and environmental studies etc to reflect the Government’s climate plan.

“At that stage I expect An Bord Pleanála to make amends at least in a small way for their mistake by treating this project as their number one priority,” he said

“Here we are, in the middle of 2024, a quarter of a century since this whole process started out and almost €40m spent, and we still haven’t a spade turned in the ground.

“Look at all the major roads projects around the country that have been designed and completed in that time. Galway has been totally left behind in this respect and it’s not good enough.

“The people of the city are suffering; the businesses of the city are suffering. It’s well past time we got this road finally built,” he concluded.

 

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