A number of city councillors have voiced their frustration about the lack of a direct bus service linking Knocknacarra and Westside with the industrial estates on the eastern side of the city such as Parkmore, Liosbaun, and Ballybane.
Bus Eireann representatives Gerry Cannon and Brian Connolly gave a comprehensive presentation to councillors about the city’s public transport system at this week’s local authority meeting.
Representatives questioned Bus Eireann’s policy of operating cross city routes via Eyre Square. Newcastle based Independent councillor Mike Cubbard said bringing every bus into Eyre Square was simply not working. “Just because this strategy may have worked in the past, it is certainly not working now. What is wrong with running a bus from Rahoon straight across the bridge to Mervue without having to go into Eyre Square - getting delayed and clogging up in traffic around the cathedral.”
West Ward councillor Pearce Flannery, who travels across the city daily for work in Liosban, was also critical of the lack of a direct bus and labelled Knocknacarra as Galway’s biggest bedroom. “I contribute to this traffic problem every day when I sit in the car for an hour or two to cross the city. But I have no choice but to contribute to the problem as I have no other option. It would make a lot more sense to target getting people specifically across from west to east and vice versa. There is a bus lane on the Seamas Quirke Road that is lying virtually empty as far as I can see.”
Bus Eireann’s Brian Connolly alluded to limited funding and resourcing difficulties as barriers to the expansion of services in the city. “To operate a service over the bridge would require pulling a route elsewhere. The way our service is structured is to cater for the majority of passengers. There are large swathes of that route across the bridge that have no residential areas. If councillors would like to see a route extended they need to make a submission to the National Transport Authority.”
Director of services for transport Joe O Neill, said the points raised by councillors would be discussed as part of the city’s integrated transport management system.