“The future growth of Galway city is in jeopardy if the Galway City Outer Bypass does not proceed,” according to Galway West TD Frank Fahey who is organising a campaign to raise public support for the controversial structure.
This month the High Court will make its decision in relation to the judicial review of the controversial Galway City Outer Bypass. However, depending on its decision, the issue of the conflict with the habitat directive may be required to be considered by the European Commission.
Galway West TD and chairman of the Oireachtas Transport Committee Frank Fahey is hoping for a positive decision on the bypass.
“There must be strong public support for the project to ensure the further planning of the bypass does not get bogged down in bureaucracy,” said Dep Fahey, “because it is my firm belief that the growth and development of Galway city will be negatively hindered unless this vital piece of infrastructure is allowed to proceed, and soon.”
As a result, Dep Fahey believes public awareness of the importance of the bypass must be heightened. This is why he has erected signs at two points on the west side of the city to highlight where the proposed bypass starts.
The signs at the Cappagh Road Roundabout end of the Western Distributor Road and on the Barna Road are designed to “illustrate to people living nearby how they will benefit from the bypass when it is constructed”. He also called on business, civic, and all related interest groups to show their support, especially in the event that the case is referred to Brussels.
Following requests for more information on the High Court case, Dep Fahey is also organising field trips for interested people to see the areas of limestone pavement at Menlo and bog cotton at Tonabrocky Bog which are the subject of objections regarding the bypass.
“While I have shared some of the concerns expressed about the ecological impact the bypass will have on certain areas and the absolute requirement of mitigation measures, I am more concerned about the residents of the city,” he said. “I also believe it will be impossible to find a more suitable route through the Menlo area which will have less of an impact.”
Dep Fahey was also critical of the city’s Labour councillors for supporting a motion recently by Councillor Colette Connolly that the council “withdraw completely” from the city outer bypass.
“Cllr Connolly’s view that the bypass would be ‘ineffective’ in dealing with the city’s transport issues puzzles me,” said Dep Fahey. “The Bypass will take up to 10,000 cars out of the city each day, allowing traffic that does not need to enter the city to bypass in altogether.”
Dep Fahey also believes it will reduce travel times “enormously”.
“People living on the Barna Road will be able to travel to the airport in Carnmore in about 10 minutes,” he said. “It is also critical to the success of a high frequency bus service and to a possible GLUAS development in the future.”