Connolly encourages re-think on light rail for Galway

An attempt to revive support for a light rail system for Galway will come before the next Galway City Council meeting, with a demand for a delegation from City Hall to visit towns in France to observe how light rail is operating there.

Independent city councillor Catherine Connolly has tabled a motion for the next meeting, calling for a delegation from City Hall to visit cities and towns in France to observe how light rail is operating successfully in that country in terms of transport, costs, and benefits to the environment.

Cllr Connolly is hopeful her fellow councillors will support the motion, noting that light rail, as a preferred mode of public transport, was endorsed by city councillors in 2010 following a presentation by members of the voluntary GLUAS committee established by local businessman Brendan Holland.

“Despite the Trojan work done by this voluntary committee and notwithstanding the support of all the city councillors for this option, very little progress has been made,” said Cllr Connolly. “More worryingly, the city and county councils are currently engaging in a very costly exercise to build another road which will simply add to the traffic congestion.”

Cllr Connolly said the fixation with roadways, including the “debacle of the original plan for an outer bypass” is a drain on money and has deflected management and councillors “from looking at more sustainable solutions”.

“Rather than a new 16 and half kilometre road at €30 million a kilometre, at a conservative estimate, to proceed with such a project without looking at a cheaper, more effective, and more sustainable solution like light rail beggars belief,” she said. “Both the city and county management, and TDs, should be held to account.”

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