Galway City Tribune – City councillors will be asked in the early days of the New Year to tackle head-on the task of ridding the city centre area of private cars in the biggest ever proposed shake-up of transport in the urban area.
The Galway City Centre Transport Management Plan will be presented to councillors at their meeting on Monday, January 8 next, following a workshop to brief them on the strategy on the previous Friday.
Councillors have been told in no uncertain terms that it is an objective of the City Council ‘to remove non-essential motorised traffic from the core city centre area’.
The plan envisages a number of ‘bus only routes’ around the city centre area with private cars likely to be banned from Eglinton Street and from using College Road as a through route to and from the city.
Brian Connolly, Regional Manager West, Bus Eireann, told the Galway City Tribune, said that there was huge potential for the expansion of the bus service in the city once customers could be guaranteed reliability of service and accurate journey times.
“Only 10% of the city network has priority bus lanes, which obviously leaves 90% of our services vulnerable to this traffic congestion,” said Mr Connolly.
Another leg of the City Centre Transport Management Plan is the construction of a new footbridge over the Corrib adjacent to the existing Salmon Weir Bridge – this is part of an overall strategy aimed at making the city centre area more user-friendly for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
Councillors have already given a guarded welcome to the new plan but have warned that it will involve fundamental change to the current transportation pattern and usage around the city.
Fianna Fáil councillor, Michael Crowe, told the Galway City Tribune: “Something has to be done as regards the traffic situation around the city – I think that we all accept that. Change just has to come – and it won’t be easy – but we must face up to the challenge in front of us.”
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