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A Labour Party City Councillor says it’s a ‘sign of the times’ that the City Council is stuck in a ‘time warp’ with its outdated signage.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.
Galway family’s light show adds magic to Christmas
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The Carrick Family Light Show returns tonight (Friday) as 70,000 lights are illuminated in aid of a worthy local charity.
The man behind the lights spectacular, James Carrick, says test runs this week have proven successful and the family is ready to mark another Christmas in style.
“This is our fourth Christmas doing it. We started in 2019, but Covid was around for the last two years so it will be great this year not having to worry about that so much,” says James, who has spent the last few weeks carefully rebuilding the show at his home in Lurgan Park, Renmore.
He’s added “a few bits and pieces this year” – his brother buying the house next door has provided him a ‘blank canvas’ to extend.
Over the past three years, the show has raised almost €30,000 for local charities and James hopes to build on that this year – offering the light show for free, as always, and giving the opportunity to donate if people wish to do so.
The show runs nightly from 6.30pm, Monday to Saturday, with an extra kids show on Sundays at 5pm at 167 Lurgan Park (H91 Y17D). Donations can be made at the shows or by searching ‘idonate Carrick Family Light Show’ online.
‘Chaos’ for Christmas as Martin junction works delayed again
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Motorists attempting to get into Galway are facing a nightmare before Christmas as continued delays to the works at the Martin roundabout create traffic chaos on the east side of the city.
Anger over the controversial project to remove the roundabout at Galway Clinic intensified this week as the completion date was pushed out to February – nearly a year after works began and six months later than the supposed deadline.
Local councillor Alan Cheevers (FF) told the Galway City Tribune that he had lost all confidence in the Transport Department in the City Council and hit out at their “outsourcing the problem” to private contractors.
He said despite repeated representations from him, the local authority was refusing to take responsibility for the bedlam caused by the works, which he said had resulted in “three minor collisions in the last five weeks”.
“The bottom line is that this has been an absolute shambles and I’ve lost all faith in senior officials in City Hall. When I raised the issue again this week, I was accused of looking for newspaper headlines – they will not take responsibility,” said the City East councillor.
“It’s like an obstacle course up there, and now they’re saying February for completion. I’ve no confidence it will even be done by then – they’re out of their depth. If you look at what they’re saying, they say they’ll be doing the surfacing until February,” continued Cllr Cheevers, anticipating that works could still be ongoing next March or April.
In a statement issued by contractors Fox Building Engineers Ltd and Galway City Council, it was claimed that “supply chain issues” had impacted severely on the project.
Motorists this week reported delays of up to an hour just to travel the short distance from Briarhill Shopping Centre as far as the Doughiska Road-Dublin Road junction, a distance of less than 2km.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the December 2 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Councillors rubber stamp ‘temporary’ helipad after nine years in place
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The Health Service Executive (HSE) came under fire over the ‘temporary’ helipad serving University Hospital Galway at a meeting to finalise the Galway City Development Plan for 2023-29.
Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, made a point of publicly highlighting his dissatisfaction with the HSE, calling on them to urgently “regularise” the planning permission for the helipad.
BY ANDREW HAMILTON
Speaking on the issue, Cllr Frank Fahy (FG) said that he mistrusted the HSE’s proposal concerning the helipad, saying that previous promises about the site had not been kept.
Currently, University Hospital Galway operates the helipad to transport medical emergencies on Council-owned land in Shantalla – it has been used for past nine years, despite the HSE saying it would be used for six months.
The temporary structure, the busiest helipad in Ireland, transports patients from as far north as Donegal to the hospital.
Councillors voted to change the Galway City Development Plan to provide for a helipad at this location but urged the HSE to normalise the planning permission at the site and to provide compensation to the local community for the loss of a section of the park.
Mr McGrath said that he wouldn’t “wait forever” for the HSE to bring the site in line with the planning laws.
Last month marked the ninth anniversary of when the Saolta University Hospital Group gave a commitment to the people of Shantalla about the public land it borrowed.
Tony Canavan, the then Chief Operating Officer, and now CEO of Saolta, said that the land would be used to accommodate a helipad at the rear of UHG for six months only.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the December 2 edition of the Galway City Tribune where there is extensive coverage of rezoning decisions under the City Development Plan. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.