Supporting Local News

Dublin Road bus scheme will go for planning in the Autumn


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Dublin Road bus scheme will go for planning in the Autumn Dublin Road bus scheme will go for planning in the Autumn

From the Galway City Tribune – An application to proceed with the development of the Dublin Road BusConnects scheme will be made to An Bord Pleanála in the Autumn.

This follows an extensive public consultation process last month which found widespread support for the bus corridor – provided tweaks were made to accommodate those living along the route.

However, some concern has been expressed by councillors that the number of traffic lights along the route will encourage further rat-running in Renmore estates.

At a meeting of the City Council last week, councillors were shown plans which include for the removal of Skeritt Roundabout at Galway ATU; the installation of a new traffic light junction at Ballyloughane Road and the Belmont estate; and traffic lights at the entrance to Merlin Park Hospital.

Cllr Alan Cheevers (FF) said the result would be in excess of 20 traffic light junctions for those travelling east to west.

“The traffic lights at Merlin Park Hospital are very much welcome,” he said.

“I do feel we should have looked at the possibility of using flashing amber lights though, to help with traffic flow.”

Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind) said it was imperative that those planning the project didn’t make things worse instead of better for people living in east side estates.

“If you bring in four or five more sets of lights, are you encouraging people to avoid them by going through Murrough Park and Renmore Park?” he asked.

Senior Executive Engineer Susan Loughnane said traffic lights were being proposed at various locations to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as manage traffic.

“Sometimes, we increase the red light cycle time on a junction and then we get requests from residents to increase the green time – and we get more rat-running,” she said.

Plans for the project are currently being advanced towards an application to An Bord Pleanála.

Ms Loughnane told the meeting that the 4km route from the G Hotel to the new junction at Galway Clinic would include for continuous footpaths, cycle lanes, bus lanes and car lanes.

This article first appeared in the print edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism by subscribing to the Galway City Tribune HERE. A one-year digital subscription costs just €89.00. The print edition is in shops every Friday.

From the G Hotel as far as the Coast Road junction, there would be cycle lanes on both sides of the road, reducing to a double lane on the Doughiska side from that point on so as to protect trees on the opposite side of the road.

Following an information evening in the Renmore Community Centre and an online portal which sought feedback as part of a non-statutory public consultation, 91 responses were gathered.

Of those, 79 were positive towards the proposed changes and 32 supported the scheme in full,

47 respondents supported the scheme with some changes, while 12 were opposed.

Ms Loughnane said she did not believe the 12 opposing responses were from the stakeholders directly affected by the route, and one was “it always rains in Galway, so nobody is going to cycle anyway”.

There were a number of estates, properties and businesses identified as key stakeholders, including the Connacht Hotel, Flannery’s Hotel, Duggan’s Shop in Renmore, ATU, Casey’s Londis and Kia Renmore.

All had been invited to engage with the Council, said Ms Loughane, adding that there would be a full Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) process to go through for any privately owned lands required for the route.

Councillors expressed concerns on behalf of residents in Belmont, Woodhaven and Glenina.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) said Glenina, directly across from the Bon Secours Hospital, was set to lose a large amount of green space in front of the houses, while there were concerns that Belmont was also losing green space.

Ms Loughnane said they were engaging with residents in Glenina, and the area lost in Belmont as a result of realigning its exit with the Ballyloughane Road junction, would be rectified by re-grassing the existing road out.

Cllr Noel Larkin (Ind) said those living in Woodhaven had concerns about visibility when exiting their estate.

“To come out and turn right towards the city, they’ll have to cross a footpath, a cycle lane, a bus lane and two lanes of traffic – it’s going to be extremely difficult,” he said.

Ms Loughane said the only addition to the current situation would be the cycle lane.

“You will be crossing the same volume of traffic, but we would be hoping more buses and fewer cars,” she said.

Cllr Terry O’Flaherty (Ind) said there was a detached property at the entrance to the Connacht Hotel where fears had been raised about the loss of garden space, or the possible demolition of the property. Ms Loughnane said the lines of communication with the family were open.

Cllr Peter Keane (FF) he did not accept that the people of Galway would have to wait until 2028 for the delivery of this project – and said while no project of this scale could be completed without upsetting some people, it was for the greater good.

“We need to look at innovative ways to deliver this in a timely fashion,” said Cllr Keane.

Several questions of cost went unanswered as Chief Executive Brendan McGrath said it would become clearer as plans advanced.

“This will be an expensive project but thanks to Government funding and NTA funding, the full funding will be available once we get through the statutory process,” he said.

(Photo: A computer-generated image of how the BusConnects route would look at Glenina Heights in Renmore).

More like this:

Sign Up To get Weekly Sports UPDATES

Go Up