Bypass is not a traffic solution says Connolly

The city outer bypass is “a non starter” for dealing with the city’s traffic congestion problem, which can only be solved by a combination of light rail and City Hall’s smarter travel initiative proposal.

This is the view of Independent councillor Catherine Connolly who was speaking following Monday’s city council ‘much talk, no solutions’ meeting regarding traffic congestion.

Cllr Connolly believed the controversial outer bypass is a “non starter for the immediate future given the state of the country”.

The smarter travel initiative sets out to significantly reduce the level of traffic on city roads and is a joint initiative of both the Galway city and county councils and covers the city area, Oranmore, Barna, and Claregalway.

The plan recommends the roll out of mobility plans from various factories and schools in the city in order to reduce traffic; the provision of park and ride facilities; a six fold increase in bus corridors from 3km to 18 km to serve Knocknacarra, Parkmore, Oranmore, Monivea Road, and Tuam Road together with the roll out of a multi-modal transport in Garraun, Oranmore. There is also a proposal for the roll out of a cycle and pedestrian strategy.

The application was submitted to the previous government more than a year ago and had the unanimous support of all city councillors.

She also says the smarter travel bid will be a much cheaper and more effective long term solution to traffic congestion. “In contrast to the proposed cost of €350,000 million for the outer bypass, the smarter travel initiative is simply seeking €25 million,” she said.

However Cllr Connolly is concerned that the smarter travel bid has been before the Government since last April. “There has been a deafening silence from the new Government and also from the Mayor in relation to this application,” she said.

Cllr Connolly said both Mayor Hildegarde Naughton and the Galway City Council should be giving “100 per cent support to the light rail initiative” and calling for “immediate funding from the Government”.

Cllr Connolly is also calling on City Hall support a light rail service for Galway.

“This initiative is one of the most obvious solutions to traffic congestion,” she said. “It is time for the Mayor to support these initiatives if she is seriously interested in alleviating the problem of traffic congestion.”

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