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Call for zero tolerance on match day parking



The Gardaí and community wardens should adopt a “zero tolerance” parking policy targeting Pearse Stadium and Terryland during match days to prevent people becoming hostages in their homes.

That is the view of newly co-opted councillor Collette Connolly, who accused the authorities of a piecemeal attitude when it came to enforcing the parking laws.

Parents with children at nearly every school in the city caused chaos at drop off or collection times, she fumed at this week’s Joint City Policing Committee meeting.

“I’ve seen elderly people in wheelchairs not knowing what to do, going on the roads because of cars parked on the footpaths,” railed the independent councillor who replaced her sister Catherine on the City Council last month.

“Every single time the city is held to ransom every time there’s a match in Salthill and on the Dyke Road. Car parks are not being used during the matches. People are being held up for hours in their cars during a match…The vision we must have is equality for everyone.”

She said irresponsible parking was causing an inherent danger to kids, who were running across the road.

“Could the Gardaí on a pilot basis – every six months – work with the warden with specific schools to get the message out in relation to the crisis of illegal parking?”

She submitted a motion calling on the Gardaí and community wardens to adopt a zero tolerance parking policy.

Mayor Frank Fahy, who seconded the motion, said after his complaints at the last meeting, Gardaí were more proactive in issuing tickets to cars parked on footpaths and disabled spots – however, this had now lapsed the problem was as bad as ever.

“Every day I can count 40 or 50 cars parked illegally. It reflects very poorly on the Garda Siochána when cars are parked illegally . . . it’s the people with disabilities, people with canes having to come off the footpaths and going onto the road.”

He said hot spots around the House Hotel, Eglinton Street and Foster Street were causing obstructions for emergency vehicles and serious congestion for the rest of the motorists.

Cllr Donal Lyons said the last time this zero tolerance policy was in place a clamping company was enforcing the parking laws which ended up with the clamping of parents of sick children attending GPs in an emergency, painting the city in a very bad light.

Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said the city would need a minimum of 1,000 Gardaí to deal with every breach and “still we wouldn’t be in a position to commit to zero tolerance on illegal parking”.

He said patrol cars did not physically generate parking tickets but issued fines electronically. Some 251 parking tickets had been issued in Salthill since January.

“We are considering going back to the old system and issuing a ticket as a preventative measure. Tickets are being issued but it would seem we have to issue more,” he stated.

Gardaí would also look into working with schools to address dangerous parking.

An amended motion by Cllr Connolly calling on the Gardaí to take a proactive approach to illegal parking was passed unanimously.


Plan for ‘world-class’ campus with potential for 10,000 jobs at Galway Airport



From this week’s Galway CIty Tribune – A proposal to transform the former Galway Airport into a ‘world-class’ business and technology campus has been drawn up by Galway County Council – with the potential to create up to 10,000 jobs.

The plan, which was compiled as part of the Draft County Development Plan, proposes a multi-million-euro investment in the 115-acre site owned jointly by the County and City Councils.

According to the vision document, the airport site at Carnmore could become a key economic driver that would “attract and secure long-term investment in Galway and the western region, and underpin the development of the Galway Metropolitan Area”.

Among the sectors identified as potential occupants are renewable energy, biodiversity, food science and logistics.

Some of the structures included for are a ‘landmark building’; commercial units; park amenity and recreation space; a renewable energy park; and a multi-purpose leisure facility.

A contemporary development with the potential to accommodate emerging industries is promised, with projected employment numbers ranging between 3,500 to 10,000 over time.

However, county councillors raised concerns at a meeting this week that the proposal they had seen in the Development Plan had been ‘sitting on a shelf’ since last March – and they still hadn’t seen what was dubbed ‘the masterplan’ for the airport site.

Cllr Liam Carroll (FG) told the Athenry Oranmore Municipal District meeting that the recent news that Oranmore was among the locations being looked at by multinational tech giant, Intel, put fresh focus on the future of the airport.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Work expected to start on Galway City cycleways next summer



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The first six projects in the city’s major new cycle network are expected to begin construction by next June.

In an update on developments that are in train to improve the lot of cyclists, councillors at this week’s local authority meeting were told that the Martin Roundabout (near the Galway Clinic) would next be changed to a junction and the BusConnects, involving priority bus lanes from Moneenageisha to University Hospital Galway, were advancing.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has approved a raised cycle lane north of Railway Bridge on Doughiska Road South and for a shared street south of the bridge.

Eglinton Canal will turn into a shared cycle and pedestrian path. Four weeks of public consultation on both of these is set to begin in October, with the projects set to go to detailed design and tender following final NTA approval.

Ballybane, Castlepark and Bóthar Stiofáin Roads will also go to public consultation for “raised adjacent cycle schemes” a month after that.

The six projects are expected to begin construction by the end of June or early July next year.

Millars Lane is currently in preliminary design stage after clearing works were carried out last November.

Options are being examined and parking survey prepared for Threadneedle, Bishop O’Donnell, Dr Mannix, Devon Park, Salthill Road Upper and Lower Roads with input and designs from the Parkmore Strategic Framework awaited for the Monivea and Doughiska North Roads.

Active Travel Schemes had been approved in principle by the NTA for Ballyloughane and Clybaun South Roads, involving pedestrian crossings, traffic calming, signalisation of junctions and the integration of safe school routes.

Cllr John Connolly (FF) noted that the first quarter of 2021 was when some of these projects were to go to construction, according to a previous timetable.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Pamela’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Racecourse Park and Ride a non-runner for Christmas in Galway



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The lack of a park and ride service this Christmas will drive shoppers out of town at a time when businesses are struggling to recover from months in lockdown, the Mayor has warned.

This is after it was revealed that the City Council has failed to secure an alternative location for the service – with its usual base at Galway Racecourse out of action due to the ongoing vaccination programme.

The service, which had previously operated for the three-week period in the run up to Christmas, enabled motorists to park their cars in Ballybrit and take a return trip by bus to town at a cost of just €2 – taking hundreds of cars out of the city centre.

The Mayor, Cllr Colette Connolly, said it was ‘completely ludicrous’ that it would not be in operation this year, in a city that was already gridlocked with car traffic.

“I think that it is a retrograde step not to proceed with the Christmas Park and Ride because we know what will happen – we’ve seen before what happens at the Corrib Centre around Christmas where traffic backs up and people get stuck in the car park,” said the Mayor.

This would result in shoppers from outside the city avoiding coming in, while others would go to other towns and cities to avoid traffic misery.

“They will go to Limerick or to Dublin, which is only two-and-a-half hours away. They will go to Athlone, because they may as well go there, rather than spend two hours sitting in traffic on Lough Atalia,” added the Independent councillor.

In Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath’s report to councillors, it is stated that “it is looking unlikely that Galway City Council will be able to run the Christmas Park and Ride in 2021”.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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