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Cyclists want homes in Knocknacarra knocked

Denise McNamara

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A submission by cycling campaigners about the city bypass believes homes should be demolished in parts of Knocknacarra and traffic banned from three key bridges to transform Galway into the Oxford of Ireland.

The submission by the Galway Cycling Campaign to the Galway City Integrated Traffic Management Programme Consultation – being undertaken by the consultants managing the city bypass project – argues that Galway should move away from car-focused city models such as Los Angeles or Birmingham.

Instead, it should see itself as the Irish equivalent of historical university cities like Oxford, Cambridge, Utrecht, Freiburg and Ferrara.

The cycle lobby group argues for a system of traffic cells modelled on cities like Delft and Groningen with cars banned from crossing the city centre.

The Salmon Weir bridge, O’Briens Bridge and Wolfe Tone bridge would be closed to private cars but remain open to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.  Private traffic crossing the city would need to use the Quincentenary Bridge.

For the wider city, the submission calls for comprehensive measures to address car speeds on city roads with a focus on enforcement.

Problematic road features should be removed or modified – roundabouts should be taken out, traffic calmed with raised zebra crossings and lane widths at traffic lights widened.

The cycle campaign calls for remedial measures for newer car-based areas of the city such as Knocknacarra to allow people to cycle in the shortest route necessary without having to go on main roads.

“Measures will include knocking down walls between housing estates, providing wheeling ramps and steps, providing pedestrian and cyclist access from housing estates to local roads by the shortest possible route. In some locations, particularly Knocknacarra, it may be necessary to buy adjacent properties and demolish them in order to construct the type of secondary roads network found in cities like Utrecht or Freiburg.

“Here the cul-de-sac based housing model needs to be dismantled.  In some cases, it may be necessary to purchase properties and demolish them in order to create a functional roads network.  Without this, walking, cycling and public transport are discouraged by excessively long travel distances,” the group believes.

Smaller schoolchildren must have traffic-free routes away from main roads to tackle school-run congestion.

In a separate submission, the Community Road Safety Action & Information Network (Cosain) argues that in order to encourage more sustainable travel patterns, planning authorities and their consultants must place public transit, cycling and walking at the top of the transport hierarchy.

“If car dependence is a fire that must be controlled, then increasing road capacity is like dousing it in high-octane fuel,” it states.

The group also rallies against what it describes as the provision of large quantities of car parking (2,634 spaces) in the city centre.

“Yet it is frequently stated by the Local Authority that there is ‘no room’ in the city centre to further accommodate public transport, walking and cycling … the availability of free, cheap or otherwise convenient parking is one of the biggest determinants of whether people drive to their destinations, or travel by bus, by bike or on foot.”

Connacht Tribune

Two arrested following taxi hijacking in Galway

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Gardaí have arrested two men following the hijacking of a taxi in Co Galway last night.

Shortly before midnight, Gardaí received a report that two men who were passengers in a taxi had attacked the driver and stole his vehicle.

The driver was ejected from the car on the M18 motorway.

Gardaí were alerted and observed the car in Claregalway.

A managed containment operation to ‘block in’ the taxi was put in place with assistance from the armed Regional Support Unit.

The car was brought to a stop on Bothar na dTreabh and two men fled on foot. The two men, one in his mid-20s and the other in his early-30s, were subsequently arrested.

They are currently detained at Garda HQ in Renmore under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Small shops fight back in store wars

Dara Bradley

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Caroline McCarthy

A popular city boutique has threatened to re-open in breach of Covid-19 restrictions – to highlight the unfairness of supermarkets selling so-called ‘non-essential’ goods.

The proprietor of Lanidor on Eyre Street said she is ‘taking a stand’, and has urged all retailers to follow suit, unless the authorities crack-down on those bending the rules.

“This stuff about ‘oh we’re all in it together’ is a load of rubbish,” fumed Caroline McCarthy, who said the multiples were ignoring restrictions while independent retailers remain shuttered.

She said all non-essential retail should be open, or none, but the current situation was “discriminatory”.

“I’ve had it at this stage. I’ve lost it. I can’t put up with this anymore. On a point of principle and on a practical level, someone has to do something about it. It’s not that we want to open.

“We have adhered to every single one of the regulations. But we are making a stand now. We will go ahead and open, at a date to be announced, if they are not shut down. And we would call on retailers across the country to do the same,” she said.

Under public health guidelines only ‘essential’ retail outlets are permitted to open. They are not permitted to sell ‘non-essential’ goods during Level 5. This is to stop people congregating and browsing in order to limit the spread of the virus.

But large retailers such as Dunnes Stores and Marks and Spencer stand accused of selling ‘non-essential’ clothing during the pandemic, even though clothes shops should be closed.

Galway Gardaí visited stores last weekend on foot of a complaint.

A spokesperson for M&S said it was following the guidelines but the tills in its Galway store’s clothing section was staffed on Saturday.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Vaccine roll-out stalls after advice

Dara Bradley

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Staff from the Paediatric Department at UHG (from left) Mary Scally, Clinical Nurse Manager 1; Cecily Cassidy, Clinical Nurse Manager 2; and Lisa Porter, Play Specialist with shadowbox theatres and accompanying tote bags which are being shared with children in hospital during April as part of an Arts and Health project for Galway 2020 called A Bird at My Window and Other Stories.

The roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine programme in Galway has stalled due to updated advice on the AstraZeneca jab.

Operations at the mass vaccination centre at Galway Racecourse in Ballybrit were  suspended Tuesday, for the remainder of this week at least, to allow the HSE to ‘reconfigure’ its roll-out plan following the new guidance.

The European Medical Agency safety committee concluded that unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as very rare side effects of AstraZeneca.

National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) then issued revised recommendations for its use, including not administering it to people under 60.

For people who have already received their first dose, NIAC said people aged 60 and older should continue to receive their second dose, as should those under 60 with underlying conditions.

Those under 60 without underlying health conditions – mostly healthcare staff – should have an extended period between the first and second dose, “to allow for further assessment of the benefits and risks as more evidence becomes available”.

Anyone who develops unusual blood clots with low platelets after the first dose should not take the second.

HSE West said vaccination clinics for the over-60s proceeded as planned; it would not say how many people had their vaccination jabs cancelled at Ballybrit.

“Everyone scheduled to get their vaccine at Ballybrit vaccination centre this week has been contacted,” a spokesperson said.

“The HSE is actively looking at the implications of the updated NIAC recommendations for the vaccine roll-out and the implementation of the programme. On receipt of national guidance we will recommence scheduling of vaccines at the Ballybrit vaccination centre.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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