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Councillor proposes free parking at Athenry to ease parking issues at Oranmore train station

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A proposal is to be sent to Irish Rail and a car park operator to extend free parking for a trial period at Athenry train station in a bid to alleviate growing capacity issues at Oranmore train station.

It comes as the local authority is facing increasing calls to address illegal parking on kerbs and footpaths at the Oranmore car park.

At a meeting of Athenry/Oranmore Municipal District, councillor Shelley-Herterich Quinn said people are leaving Athenry to go to Oranmore to avail of the free parking at the station.

She raised a motion calling on officials to write to Irish Rail and Apcoa, who manage the Athenry car park, asking them to consider extending free parking for a trial period to encourage better use of the station and ease the capacity issues in Oranmore.

It comes following a period of free parking at the Athenry station to facilitate Christmas shoppers.

Fine Gael councillor Liam Carroll cautioned against the proposal and argued that it doesn’t make economic sense for people to drive from Athenry to Oranmore for the sake of free parking.

A council official stated the local authority paid for the carpark in Oranmore and a huge revenue stream would have to be replaced if paid parking is not introduced there as planned.

Councillor Herterich Quinn argued the proposal is cost neutral for the local authority and would only work on a trial basis to see if there is any impact in Oranmore.

For more on this story, tune in to Galway Bay fm on the hour..

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Galway TD hits out at voting procedures for island communities

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A bill allowing people on island communities to vote on the same day as those on the mainland will not be passed before next month’s general election.

That’s according to Galway West TD Eamon O Cuiv, who has hit out at the Local Government Minister Eoghan Murphy for not progressing the bill in time.

The Electoral Bill 2014 was proposed by Deputy O Cuiv, and following a discussion with Minister Murphy, it was agreed that the Minister would draft some amendments to the bill to progress it more efficiently.

According to Deputy O Cuiv the amendments were never produced, however, and the bill could not pass as a result.

The general election polling day for all off-shore islands, including those in Galway, will be Friday the 7th of February – a day before the rest of the country.

Deputy O Cuiv says he is very frustrated by the whole situation.

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Planning permission refused for controversial biogas plant near Gort

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Plans for a controversial biogas plant near Gort have been turned down.

The plan was led by Sustainable Bio-Energy Limited and would have been located in the townlands of Ballynamantan, Kinincha and Glenbrack.

In January of last year, an application to develop a biogas plant on a 10 hectare site around 1km from Gort was withdrawn by Sustainable Bio-Energy Limited.

A second application was submitted in November for the plant, which would utilise anaerobic digestion technology to produce renewable energy and organic fertiliser.

Both proposals encountered significant opposition from the local community regarding its location and the potential impact on the environment.

County planners have now refused permission for the project citing a number of factors in the decision.

For more, tune into Galway Bay fm news at 5.

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Study finds shape and landscape of Galway suitable for rail system

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A new maths-based report has determined that the shape of Galway City makes the creation of a light rail system more feasible.

The study was carried out at the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway.

It examined the role of geometric information in determining the utility of a small urban light rail or tram system.

It found the rectangular shape of Galway City – which is three times longer than it is wide – makes such a system more feasible than in many other cities, particularly those which are circular in shape.

However, the assessment is offered from a scientific point of view, and is not a study on the sustainability or overall viability of a rail system for Galway.

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