Galway’s business lobby group has welcomed the news that the Galway city outer bypass will start preliminary works as planned.
The group, comprising Galway Chamber, the American Chamber, The Irish Hotels Federation, ITAG, and IBEC, had lobbied for the bypass, regarded as vital for the future economic development of the city and county.
Galway Chamber president Paul Shelly says: “We have lobbied long and hard with other organisations on this vital piece of infrastructure for Galway. While we are disappointed the entire project did not get planning permission, we are pleased that the first portion will go ahead as planned.
“We have consistently stated, along with our lobbying partners, that the Galway city outer bypass, in its entirety, is essential on two fronts: for the economic growth and the development of tourism in south Connemara, and critically, to take the non-city centre traffic out of the equation so that bus lanes, cycle paths, GLUAS, and other traffic calming measures can be introduced to what is, after all, a medieval city.
‘Therefore we encourage the preliminary works and we are confident that an alternative route to the portion of the project not passed by An Bord Pleanala will be found.’
Speaking on behalf of the American Chamber, Gerry Kilcommins says the group is encouraged by An Bord Pleanala’s decision which accepts the need for the bypass and the need for the new bridge over the Corrib.
“This is essential to ensure our competitiveness, to retain jobs, to allow employees to access their workplaces easily, and to facilitate commerce,” he said.
IBEC’s John Brennan added that the failure to deliver this project would leave Galway as the only city in the country without an effective bypass or circular route .
‘We need this project. The last thing we need is re-prioritisation or de-prioritisation. The commencement of the work is a positive move for Galway and must be encouraged by the business community and by our politicians and decision makers.”
The group also welcomes the “timely finish date for the N6 and the continued progress on the N18/N17 Tuam to Gort projects, both of which, along with the Galway city outer bypass will provide a traffic structure suitable for our future growth as well as our economic and social needs”.