The gridlock experienced by Galway motorists and commuters on a daily basis has been further exacerbated this week due to the well-publicised road closure at the Lough Atalia Bridge.
Drivers have been getting used to the one-way system, which is now operating inbound along Lough Atalia Road on to Fairgreen Road and outbound via College Rd, since it came into effect on Tuesday morning.
The closure is required to facilitate the lowering of the road level under the railway bridge to increase headroom for high-sided vehicles, and to provide continuous pedestrian and cycle facilities. It is hoped the works, being carried out by L and M Keating Limited on behalf of the Galway City Council, will be finished by the end of May and the road will re-open before the June Bank Holiday weekend.
Traffic in the area at peak times this week has been relatively light with schools on Easter break, but real test will occur next Monday when schools are back.
Commuters are being urged to take a different route to work, if possible, particularlythose travelling to the west side of the city. This includes lucky beach-goers who are enjoying the current spell of glorious weather and planning a trip to Salthill.
Tom Cannon, the project’s designated public liaison engineer, says the new system is working as well as can be expected at this stage. “This week has been about ironing out any teething problems. The key is keeping traffic moving along Forster St and into Eyre Square. There is a designated loading bay in Forster St for lorries doing deliveries. Cars parking in the loading bay or on the street behind it will be removed. It is being actively policed by wardens as it is essential this space is kept clear to assist the flow of traffic. Another thing we have noticed is that people are turning around on College Road and not obeying the one-way system. Drivers must obey the signs or this will result in an accident.’’
He is appealing to commuters to have a little patience and leave home in time next week. “Give yourself an extra 15 minutes and see how that works out for you. Also maybe it is an opportunity to explore some public transport options. Don’t discount the bus. The bus lanes mean you can in along Merlin Park and Renmore much faster. There is also the option of the train from Oranmore. For those living near the city, it has never been better weather to get on the bicycle or out for a walk.”