Call for action on Tuam Road bus corridor

The Parkmore junction on the N83 Tuam Road (formerly the N17)

The provision of a designated bus corridor from Claregalway into the Galway City should be put in the hands of a group who are capable of delivering the project swiftly, a county councillor has claimed.

At the moment, the scheme is a joint venture between Galway County Council and Galway City Council, with the city being the lead agency.

But it has been suggested that it be taken out of the responsibility of the City Council, as there are claims that they are ‘sitting on their hands’ on the matter.

One of the main bus operators between Tuam and Galway say it is now taking more than an hour to reach Eyre Square during peak morning periods. It is frustrating for both passengers and the bus companies.

Traffic now grinds to a halt shortly after Claregalway on the morning inward journeys from Tuam – there are proposals for a bus corridor from there to the lights at Fleming’s Garage at the top of Bóthar na dTreabh in the city.

However, there has been little progress on this despite TDs in both Galway East and Galway West making various statements over the past year demanding that the councils make progress.

Regular bus user from Tuam, Cllr Shaun Cunniffe, told Tuam Municipal Council that he has been in touch with Burkesbus and they are ‘less than impressed’ with the lack of advance being made in providing a bus lane.

“The whole purpose of this initiative is to keep cars away from the city centre but Galway City Council are doing nothing to achieve this. They should be removed as the lead agency in this process.

“Even if we got a bus lane from Parkmore into the Leader’s shop area [at Castlegar], it would be a bonus and this would not even require compulsory purchase orders. It seems straightforward but the City Council are sitting on their hands.

“Eventually, a bus corridor all the way from Claregalway into the city is the most desirable option, but that seems to be a million miles away at the moment,” Cllr Cunniffe said.

City Council officials stated earlier this year that a designated bus corridor along the N83 (formerly the N17) is at a detailed design stage and a previous meeting of the Council was informed that the corridor would effectively run from Claregalway to Wellpark – Phase One of the Tuam Road bus corridor would encompass the stretch from Claregalway to the junction at Fleming’s Garage.

The meeting heard this phase could be done relatively quickly as compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) would not be needed as far as Castlegar church. The second phase, to run from Fleming’s to Wellpark, would involve CPOs and therefore would take longer.

Chief Executive of the City Council, Brendan McGrath said there are some concerns about potentially eliminating the N83 right turn up to Parkmore when coming out from the city.