Backers of GLUAS proposal ask Council to reconsider plan

How the GLUAS would look travelling through Eyre Square.

Backers of a light rail system for Galway are hoping to get the GLUAS idea back on track.

Supporters of GLUAS have once again appealed to transport officials in the city to ‘look again’ at light rail as a “real and sustainable” alternative.

Meanwhile, opponents of the proposed new bypass are championing a range of alternatives that could better solve the city’s traffic congestion than the new road.

Campaigners along the route have called for new bus routes, prioritising school bus routes, street network that is interconnected for pedestrians and cyclists as well as light rail. The N6 Action Group, including Castlegar Community Group and Barna Community Group, have made the suggestions in a detailed formal submission to the City Council, as it prepares an ‘Integrated Tansport Management Programme’ (ITMP).

The Council had recieved 58 submissions by the deadline of July 31.

The backers of GLUAS project say that two tram lines in the city, a red line going east-west, and green line north-south, would cost just €200 million – some 40% of the population of the city will live within five minutes walking distance of a tram stop.

At the moment, 4% of travel in Galway is by public tranpsort buses. According to campaigners: “GLUAS in Galway will increase public transport use to about 20% of all trips.”

They argue that car trips switched to GLUAS will amount to about 1.5 million trips a year, or 5,000 a day. In the two GLUAS corridors, this will be a significant reduction of traffic, the submission states.

It says GLUAS will serve the city centre, hospitals, university, colleges, schools, shops, Ceannt Station, as well as many of the residential and employment areas in the city.

“This is a thoroughly researched transport project,” stated Professor Lewis Lesley, Technical Director of the GLUAS group.

He says that tram specialists Tram Power and associated companies “have spent €400,000 on developing GLUAS and have offered an affordable way for the city to get GLUAS without cost and for the Tram Power team to be fairly rewarded for their investment in the project.”

For more on the GLUAS plans, see this week’s Galway City Tribune