A survey last month of traffic using the city centre pedestrian routeway during the early morning delivery ‘window’ of 5.30am to 10.30am revealed that 156 private cars passed through it.
The survey – presented as part of the Tobin Engineering and Cunnane Stratton Reynolds consultancy report on the project – also showed that some of those private cars used the area for parking.
During the morning of the survey – Tuesday, November 13 – a total of 341 vehicles entered the pedestrian zone. 68 of the 188 commercial vehicles that entered the area were not delivering but just ‘passing through’.
The average stay for commercial vehicles in the pedestrian zone was 19 minutes while 18 vehicles stayed over one hour, city councillors heard from the consulting engineers.
The consultants suggest in their report that 30-minute allocated slots would manage 120 vehicles in two hours while approximately 30 ‘true’ allocated loading bay spaces were required in the pedestrian zone.
Mayor Niall McNelis said that many businesses along the pedestrian zone used their own cars to service their premises which could explain some of the so-called private car usage.
Consultant Engineer with Tobin Consulting Engineers, Patrick Cunningham, told councillors at Monday night’s meeting, that 24-hour access to the pedestrian zone had to be given for the emergency services, pedestrians and street cleaners.
He said that at present the reserved hours for delivery vehicles and waste collection vehicles were from 5.30am to 10.30am.
The Consultant Engineers have proposed that 40 tonne articulated trucks and through traffic should not have access to the pedestrian zone.
Cllr Donal Lyons said that there was a problem with the weight of HGVs (heavy goods vehicles) on the pedestrian surfaces with Cllr Declan McDonnell suggesting the putting in place of off-street loading bays for the heavier vehicles.
According to Cllr John Walsh, the survey showed that around 70% of vehicles using the pedestrian zone shouldn’t be there in the first place.
Senior City Council Executive Engineer, Uinsinn Finn, said that as regards deliveries, restrictions were needed. “We need to start taking back control of the area. It is a vibrant street,” he said.
Bikers do their bit to mark anniversary of blood service
This year marks the tenth anniversary of Blood Bike West, and the big birthday was marked in style with a sun-drenched afternoon at Galway Plaza’s Bike Fest West.
Galway stuntman Mattie Griffin was the headline attraction; there was face painting, games, plenty of ice-cream – and hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts and families.
The birthday celebrations kicked off with a 160-strong motorcycle spin around the Galway countryside, raising well-needed funds for the volunteering efforts of Blood Bike West.
As a 100% volunteer-run and funded organisation, donations are vitally important for Blood Bike West to continue operating their medical transport in the West of Ireland.
Since its inception in 2012, demand for their volunteers’ services continues to grow: collecting and delivering all manner of urgent medical items regionally and nationally, such as bloods, breast milk, medicines, scans, and equipment.
In 2021 alone, Blood Bike West delivered 983 urgent medical deliveries throughout the country.
As part of Galway City Councils Community, Blood Bike West undertook to operate a 24/7 service, including 165 medication deliveries from pharmacies to the self-isolating and vulnerable during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Since Blood Bike West’s inception in 2012, this increase sees the ongoing need to replace and renew their fleet of motorcycles.
Their motorbikes, Madison, Heather, Margaret, and newly inaugurated bike Cara, are regularly seen on Galway roads, delivering consignments to and from local and regional hospitals.
Park fun to mark Africa Day
On Saturday next (May 28) in Salthill Park, Galway’s African community invites people to join them in a celebration of culture as part of the national Africa Day celebrations.
Africa United Galway, emerging from lockdown and having hosted online festivals for the past two years, will be delivering a family fun day event.
Africa Day 2022 will reinforce a collaboration between Africa United Galway and Galway Africa Diaspora, Shining Light Galway and GoCom Radio (broadcasting live), who have worked to create a festival that will showcase Galway as a city of culture.
Among the performances on the day will be Afrobeat dancer Lapree Lala of Southside Moves, who will show how to dance in African style; Elikya Band will be bringing indigenous African Congolese music; The Youth Performances will be displaying their talent in rap, singing, speaking, and dancing and for the young at heart.
Galway Afrobeat performer Dave Kody will get the crowd moving and there will be poetry through spoken word and cultural displays. There will be a photo booth and face painting and everyone will get to have a taste of African cuisines.
In the spirit of inclusion and integration, The St Nicholas Collegiate Church Parish Choir will be presenting a special African performance as well as a feature presentation by the Hession School of Irish Dance, who will be presenting the famous Riverdance.
Also organised is a football friendly between the African community and An Garda Siochana.
The Mayor, Colette Connolly, will officially be opening the event with a keynote speech and several African Ambassadors are expected to be present on the day to reinforce the culture, beauty and strength of Africa and support for its people.
Africa Day is sponsored by Irish Aid and supported by Galway City Council.
Domestic Violence Response recorded highest number of clients in 24 years under Covid ‘shadow’
BY TIFFANY GREENWALDT-SIMON
A domestic violence support charity in Galway has recorded its highest number of clients in 24 years – “under the shadow” of Covid-19.
Domestic Violence Response (DVR), which is based in Moycullen, also reported its highest level of counselling support sessions in its 2021 annual report published last week.
The charity saw 136 new clients in 2021, and a total of 266 people utilised its services. It also saw a significant increase of return service users.
The support service also provided 51 nights of emergency accommodation through a partnership between Airbnb, Safe Ireland, and Women’s Aid.
Elizabeth Power, Coordinator of DVR Galway, said: “Our 2021 annual report highlights the stark reality of the level of domestic violence in Galway. Under the shadow of Covid-19, DVR recorded the highest number of clients in our 24-year history and delivered the highest number of support services.
“Our staff noted increases in the level of worrying and harrowing experiences of control and abuse. The trauma of these experiences will live with our service users long after Covid-19 fades into memory.
“While Covid-19 restrictions are behind us, domestic violence continues to be present in hundreds of homes throughout Galway.
“As we move through 2022, we will continue to provide our much-needed services to women and men throughout Galway, with an extensive counselling support and advocacy service and a number of new initiatives including a partnership with the HSE which will be launched in the coming months.”
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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