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Galway City Council halts work at junction after “catastrophic” changes


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Galway City Council halts work at junction after “catastrophic” changes Galway City Council halts work at junction after “catastrophic” changes

From the Galway City Tribune – Active Travel works at a junction in Roscam have been paused after “uproar” from locals over “catastrophic” changes to a busy junction.

More than 700 people have now signed a petition against the works which would reduce the exit from four estates and the Roscam shops from two lanes to one – something local councillor Alan Cheevers said would cause “severe backlogs” for residents in the area.

“What was proposed to happen was to reduce the exit to one lane and install traffic lights which would severe issues where there are already major problems,” said the Fianna Fáil councillor.

“The background to this is a history of bad planning where, for four estates in Roscam – Boireann Beag, Cuirt Bhoirne, Roscaoin and the new Cluid housing body development – or 795 units have been built over the last 20 years or so.

“For all those units, there is only one entrance and one exit road,” said Cllr Cheevers, which is the point where these changes are proposed.

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Cllr Cheevers said he had secured a commitment from City Council engineers that the two-lane system currently in place at the exit onto the Doughiska Road would be maintained.

“I told the lead engineer on this, Uinsinn Finn, that this would be catastrophic for residents and it had to be stopped. Last week, I got an email to say that the works would be paused to review the situation because they had to take in the concerns of residents.

“He has assured me that it will go back to the original width with two lanes and he was talking to the National Transport Authority (NTA) in relation to this change to the plan, but he was confident it shouldn’t be an issue,” said Cllr Cheevers.

There remained ambiguity about the installation of traffic lights, but he said he remained opposed to their erection at the junction. These works form part of an overall Active Travel Scheme for the Doughiska Road, which includes for improved cycling and pedestrian facilities along the route.

Cllr Cheevers said the contractors on the Roscam scheme were due to have their works completed by August, ahead of the return to school, and he called for a speedy resolution to this issue so that timeline could be maintained.

“The residents in this area have already suffered enough inconvenience without this dragging on any longer. They’ve also had to deal with the works on Martin Roundabout which are only due to be completed on June 19, months after it was supposed to be finished,” he said.

Local pharmacist, Barra Nevin (pictured), whose business is located just metres from the junction in question, said he had never witnessed such opposition to anything in Roscam.

“People are shocked, dismayed, disgusted and feel totally disenfranchised and these feelings are justified.

“There are talks of protests but the most constructive approach is to give room for the Council to fully explain their plan and then changes can be made so the residents’ groups are in agreement with the best strategy going forward to alleviate traffic congestion,” said Mr Nevin.

Mr Nevin said another issue had arisen with the works in relation to the surface surrounding the Spar shop, Mr Nevin’s pharmacy and several other businesses.

“The Council has advised Roscam House, which consists of six shops, healthcare facilities and 30 apartments, that the brick concourse surrounding the complex is hazardous as it does not meet level with the new cycle lanes – and that they will be covering the cost of uplifting the red brick that has been there since its inception in 2002,” he explained.

In the meantime, a makeshift “solution” using uneven tarmac as temporary filler had been installed which Mr Nevin said was “highly inadequate”.

“It’s an appalling situation considering we have elderly and vulnerable people walking the concourse to the doctors, dentist and pharmacy. The red brick concourse is sloped to allow water drainage but the Council intends to interfere with this as an afterthought,” he said.

Meanwhile Cllr Cheevers reiterated his previous calls for an additional entrance and exit point to the Roscam estates to be created on the Coast Road – something he sought and got included in the City Development Plan.

“It was supposed to happen when these houses were built but it never materialised and it’s needed,” he said.

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