Gridlock warning on east side following opening of M17/M18

Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Traffic gridlock that hit the east side of the city on Wednesday morning could now worsen significantly due to the opening this week of the M17/M18 Tuam to Gort stretch of motorway, a local councillor has warned.

Bad weather leading to increased volumes of traffic led to gridlock on Wednesday on most eastern routes into the city, but especially along the old Dublin Road route.

Motorists who contacted the Galway City Tribune gave accounts of hour-long journeys from Roscam to the city centre during the peak 8am to 9am traffic period with the traffic congestion not easing until well after 10am.

Cllr Michael Crowe, who lives in the Briarhill area, told the Galway City Tribune, that with the opening of the new motorway, more incoming traffic would now be funnelled into the east side of the city.

“While there are no easy solutions to this, I feel that the City Council needs to ensure that their Traffic Control Unit is manned from 7am to 8pm, six days a week.

“There was a reduction in staff numbers there about 12 to 18 months ago, and to the best of my knowledge, those gaps still haven’t been filled.

“Having someone in the Traffic Control Unit watching at first hand the build-up of traffic at particular junctions can allow for remedial measures to be put in place at early stage,” said Cllr. Crowe.

He also said that the changes in the lanes for traffic approaching the Briarhill Junction from the Monivea Road was also leading to serious delays for those motorists.

“I would be fearful that with the opening this week of the new Tuam to Gort motorway, the situation with traffic on the east side of the city will get worse over the coming weeks,” said Cllr. Crowe.
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