Galway traffic system silence highlights Council’s contempt


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Galway traffic system silence highlights Council’s contempt Galway traffic system silence highlights Council’s contempt

Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

It was a simple question. ‘How many junctions in Galway are connected to the city’s Urban Traffic Management Centre (UTMC) system?’

And yet, three months after it was asked, City Hall remains silent.

The councillor inquiring – John Connolly (FF) – quite rightly said it was “difficult to have confidence” in the system when Galway City Council cannot answer a straightforward question about it.

The UTMC cost the taxpayer about €1.5m to install. It is supposed to be connected to about 50 junctions, beaming CCTV footage to a control room at Council HQ on College Road.

The centre had been sold to councillors as a means of monitoring traffic in real-time and facilitating an immediate response to incidents or congestion, like how Dublin roads are managed.

But management of the Council are reluctant to divulge how it is working in practice here.

Is it staffed daily, for example? By whom, and how many interventions are made weekly to ease congestion? And of course – John Connolly’s question – how many junctions is it connected to?

His question was submitted last November but has languished on the Council agenda ever since. No reply given.

His electoral area and party colleague, Councillor Peter Keane, previously urged the Council to open the UTMC to media to provide up-to-date traffic reports to commuters.

Cllr Keane called the UTMC underutilised and said trying to get information about how it worked was like trying to figure out the ‘Third Secret of Fatima’.

“It doesn’t inspire confidence in the system when it hasn’t been possible within a three-month time frame to provide the information as to which junctions are linked,” said John Connolly this week.

Indeed, it doesn’t. What’s worse, because it was not answered, the question remained on the agenda, depriving Cllr Connolly of submitting other queries, because standing orders only permit one question per councillor per meeting.

Just another example of our great, unelected leaders at City Hall treating councillors – and by extension, the public – with contempt.
This is a shortened preview version of this column. For more Bradley Bytes, see the February 23 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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