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Call for audit of redundant road signage in city



Galwegians are living in ‘pole-land’ with up to 150 surplus poles dotted across the city, it has been claimed.

A Labour Party City Councillor says it’s a ‘sign of the times’ that the City Council is stuck in a ‘time warp’ with its outdated signage.

Cllr Billy Cameron has asked that the local authority carries out an audit of all of its road signs across Galway City.

He believes that there are at least 50 sign-poles in each of the three city electoral wards that are ‘superfluous’, and that some 150 poles across the city should be removed between now and the yearend.

Cllr Cameron says the number offending signs owned by the local authority is too extensive to list.

“For example, on Dr Colohan Road, on Quincentenary Road and on Renmore Road towards the Eye Cinema, there are signs warning motorists that their cars could be clamped or towed away. It’s nearly 10 years now since we had a clamping regime in operation in the city, and we don’t tow cars away either, unless they are extremely bad.

“There are private areas where clamping is in operation but there is no need for Council signs frightening people about clampers that don’t exist,” said Cllr Cameron.

There are other poles in the city, he said, that are doing nothing.

“Have a look at the poles on Newcastle Road Lower – there is nothing on those poles. I can’t remember what signs used to be there, but they have been standing there, without any signs, for at least four years. They are not needed.

“Then you have a whole load of signs that are so old and so dirty that you cannot see what it is they are telling you to do, and so they are surplus to requirements. If you can’t see the signs because of dirt or because they’re faded, what’s the point in having them?”

Cllr Cameron has submitted a motion that calls on the Council to remove 150 poles between now and December. This would also include what he calls ‘vanity signs’.

“They’re all over the place, these ‘vanity signs’. And it’s not just the City Council that put them up, you have places like NUI Galway who have these as well. What is the point in having big signs telling you that this road was designed by such and such an engineer and that this scheme was funded by the EU.

“They were put up in the boom as vanity signs. They serve no purpose. They are a blight on the landscape – I believe that if they were removed we would do far better in Tidy Towns and IBAL because they are street litter as far as I’m concerned. There’s no need for them. There are a lot of signs put up in the Millennium, like the one at the Millennium Children’s Park, and they’ve been there for 15 years – there’s no need,” he said.


Concerns over reopening of Middle Arch on Tuesday



A Galway City Councillor has given a cautious welcome but has also raised concerns over the reopening of the ‘Middle Arch’ beside the Claddagh Basin next Tuesday.

Access was closed to the public last May following requests from the Gardai due to large crowds that had gathered in the days previously amid fears of it becoming a serious health and safety risk.

The concerns were raised by Cllr. Niall McNelis who said that a cautious welcome should be given but that the possibility of closing it in evenings needs to be seriously looked at.

He said “The decision to close it was earlier in year was due to it had become an area where large groups had gathered drinking and had led to calls by locals that it had become a serious health and safety risk. The area also does not have safety barriers and this has led to persons falling into the water in the past.

“Recently there has been a large number of calls made that the area should be reopened and that public space be made available to the public.”

Cllr. McNelis also said that a cautious welcome should be given but that the possibility of closing it in evenings needs to be seriously looked at.

“We can not have the same scenes repeated as we did earlier this year and in previous years. House gardens and Claddagh church grounds were used as toilets and large amounts of litter mainly drink, was left behind. I have met a number of residents this weekend who are not happy with decision and calls have been made by them to have it closed in evenings by City Council and Gardai should assist in clearing area if needs be.

“We do not have enough Garda personnel to have proper policing in our city, we need more resources for the city to tackle and enforce anti social behaviour.

“I have met this week with Gardai and have been given assurances that this will be closely monitored and occasions such as exam results nights, freshers week and good weather will be monitored,” he said.

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Council rows back on ‘reduced delays’ projections for Kirwan junction



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Motorists have described it as ‘a disaster’ and a former mayor has said the project gave very poor value for money, but Galway City Council have this week asked the public to be patient with the revamped Kirwan junction, close to the Menlo Park Hotel.

Since the four-arm signalled junction opened early last week, motorists have complained of traffic queues stretching back to the Quincentenary Bridge and Corrib Park.

And now the Council has rowed back on its consultants’ claims that the junction would increase capacity by 15% and reduce waiting times by 25%.

Former mayor and local taxi driver, Cllr Frank Fahy, told the Galway City Tribune that given the negative impact of the junction on traffic, the €5 million spent on the project represented ‘very poor value’ as regards taxpayers’ money.

“I will admit that the junction is now safer for pedestrians in that they can hit a button to give them a safe crossing, but since it opened there have some very serious traffic tailbacks,” said Cllr Fahy.

However, City Council Acting Director of Services for Transport, Uinsinn Finn, told the Galway City Tribune that the new junction needed time to ‘bed in’ with a familiarisation process.

“The main objectives of this project were to make far safer for pedestrians and cyclists to negotiate, as well as making it safer for motorists too, without impacting [negatively] on the traffic flow,” said Mr Finn.

He added that since it opened – and over the coming few weeks – data on all aspects of how the junction was functioning would be compiled which could involve changes to light sequencing, lanes and peak traffic flows.

One motorist who contacted this newspaper said that the daily “nightmare” journey from the Barna Road to the Headford Road during the morning peak traffic time had added up to 40 minutes to his journey time.

“The two lanes are regularly gridlocked from the junction, back the N6, over the Quincentenary Bridge and back to Corrib Park.

“In the mornings, it’s now easier to go down Taylor’s Hill and into town, past Eyre Square and up Bohermore to get down to the Headford Road.

Councillors were told by consultants in 2017 and again in 2018 – when they voted to proceed with the changeover to a junction – that average delays would be reduced by 25% and junction capacity would increase by 15%.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Man hospitalised following Eyre Square assault



Gardaí have appealed to the public for information into an assault in Eyre Square last weekend which led to a young man being hospitalised.

The victim of the assault – a man in his early 20s from the city area – suffered a cut to his knee and may have had a substance sprayed towards his eyes.

Following the incident – that occurred close to the Eyre Square taxi rank shortly after midnight on Saturday night last – the victim was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Galway.

It is understood that the victim was released later that morning and has made a full recovery. This week, Gardaí are poring over CCTV footage in an effort to try and identify the perpetrators of the assault.

The assailants are understood to have fled on foot after the incident towards St Patrick’s Avenue on the east side of Eyre Square.

A Garda spokesperson has appealed for anyone who was in the vicinity of the taxi rank on Eyre Square between 12 midnight and 12.30am on the Sunday morning (Saturday night) of July 25 last, and who may have witnessed the incident to contact them.

(Photo: the assailants fled on foot towards St Patrick’s Avenue off Eyre Square)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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