An online petition organised by students of NUI Galway, showcasing their opposition to proposed routes for the new Galway city bypass, has been presented to university president Dr Jim Browne.
There are fears that facilities such as the Student Sports Centre or the Dangan sports grounds will be destroyed, depending on which bypass route is chosen.
The six routes which were revealed to the public in January have caused major consternation due to the fact that between 30 and 150 homes and businesses would have to be knocked to facilitate the new road. Along with fears about the NUIG campus, there is also uproar about any potential negative effect on Ballybrit racecourse. The selected route is due to be announced by council planners and ARUP Consulting Engineers on May 6.
The ongoing online petition initiated by NUI Galway students, targeting current students, staff, and the college’s alumni, has reached more than 85,000 people over a one week period.
Students Union president, Declan Higgins, says there can be little doubt that a number of the so-called green, red, yellow, orange, blue, and pink routes would have a massively detrimental effect on the student body if they were to proceed. “We are ever conscious of the need for our members to have full access to sports facilities and amenities during their time in university, and some of these routes could have a massively negative impact on this. More creative thinking ought to occur within the NRA and the city and county councils.”
Last month NUI Galway submitted its formal opposition to the N6 Galway City Transport Project proposals. Representatives believe a major part of what currently makes the NUI Galway campus an attractive location - for both Irish and international students and staff - would be irretrievably damaged should proposed routes be accepted.
President Jim Browne thanked the students for their support and paid tribute in particular to the Students’ Union leadership for taking such a serious interest in the plans affecting the campus. Dr Browne says he hopes future generations of students will enjoy the same benefits and facilities available to those currently attending the college.