Gardai and the city’s traffic management centre will be monitoring the flow of traffic across Galway during the Races.
A colour-coded route system for traffic management – which includes temporary road closures – will be enforced by Gardaí from next Monday afternoon.
And the city’s Urban Traffic Management Centre will be watching for ‘pinch points’ and will consult with Gardai on whether traffic lights need to be switched off.
The ‘blue’, ‘red’ and ‘green’ routes are designed to prevent any cross-flow of traffic making its way to and from Ballybrit, while also leaving the roads open for non-race traffic.
Signage will be erected on the approach roads to indicate the relevant entrances for each colour route. The blue entrance is at Racecourse Avenue, the red represents the tunnel entrance and green the Tuam Road entrance.
A Garda spokesperson has advised motorists to plan their routes in advance, and to bear in mind that the Monivea Road/Racecourse Avenue only be accessed from the N17 during peak hours, particularly on the Galway Plate and Galway Hurdle days.
Also, there is no access to the Monivea Road eastbound by the lights at the Lynch/Briarhill junction (Western Motors) during road closure times (Monday and Tuesday 4pm to 6pm; Wednesday 12.30pm to 4pm; Thursday 11.30am to 3.30pm and Friday 3.30pm to 5.30pm).
Traffic for Monivea and the Airport will be directed onto the M6 and can exit at Exit 19 (Glenascaul) and proceed to Carnmore Cross.
All traffic from city reaching the Lynch junction will be directed towards the Coolough roundabout (entrance to M6).
Traffic reaching the Lynch junction from all other routes will be directed towards the city.
You can download the routes map here: Map-of-Access-Routes-to-Galway-Races
BLUE ROUTE (Avenue Entrance):
From the Carrowmoneash roundabout (Maldron Hotel) in Oranmore. Take third exit and travel via Carnmore Cross to the Avenue Entrance.
Motorway traffic should take Exit 19 and follow the signage through Carnmore Cross, where traffic from the Monivea Road will join the route. There will be Garda controls in place at the Lynch junction and at the Avenue Entrance.
Traffic on the N17 should turn up the hill at Killeen Cross (Garda control). No access to the Avenue from the N6 eastbound during road closed times.
RED ROUTE (Tunnel Entrance):
From the Carrowmoneash Roundabout, take the second exit along the old N6 to the Martin (Galway Clinic) roundabout. Then take the first exist at the Coolough M6 roundabout (end of the motorway).
At the Lynch junction, there is no right turn to the Monivea Road or Avenue Entrance. All traffic will be directed to Tunnel entrance and Galway City direction. Race traffic should remain in the right lane, city traffic in the left lane.
From the motorway, race traffic should stay in the right lane and city traffic in the left lane. Gardai will be in place so Race traffic can cross the N6 (dual carriageway) to the course.
There is no access to the Tunnel Entrance from the N17.
GREEN ROUTE (Tuam Road):
Access to the course via the hill at Twomileditch (near Kenny Motors). There is no access from the N16, M6, N18 or R339 roads.
Traffic from the Headford Road can join the Blue Route at the hill at Twomileditch or use the Green Route Entrance there.
Galway City and West:
Traffic from these areas can access any of the entrances. For the Tunnel Entrance, stay in the left lane along Bothar na dTreabh. For the Avenue, there is no access from Bothard na dTreabh during the road closed times. Access will be from the Tuam Road only.
The Green Entrance can be access from the Tuam Road only by turning right at Twomileditch.
Bus Éireann will be running a special shuttle service to and from Galway Racecourse throughout Race Week.
The direct service will run from Eyre Square to Ballybrit and back from Monday through to Sunday.
For the evening race meetings on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, buses will depart from 2.30pm at Eyre Square West (Skeff) to Ballybrit and every 15 minutes up until 5pm. Buses will depart from the racecourse on demand, up until 9.30pm.
On Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday shuttles will depart Eyre Square West from 11am until 4pm every 15 minutes or as required, and will return after the second last race, up until 8.30.
All buses will be routed through the tunnel entrance, dropping passengers off within 50 yards of the course.
Adult tickets are priced at €6 single, and €9 return. Tickets for children are priced at €3 single and €5 return.
All city services will operate as normal during the Racing festival with the exception of Route 403 and Route 409, which will terminate at Briarhill Junction on the following dates/times:
Between 3pm and 5pm Monday and Tuesday; 12.30pm and 4pm on Wednesday; 11.30am and 3.30pm on Thursday and 4pm to 6pm on Friday.
Galway City Council turns down Mad Yolk Farm site
An application to retain farming-related development on a site in Roscam has been turned down by Galway City Council.
The local authority has refused to grant retention permission to applicant Brian Dilleen for subsurface piping to be used for agricultural irrigation at ‘Mad Yolk Farm’ on Rosshill Road.
It also refused permission for the retention of a bore-hole well, water pump and concrete plinth; and two water holding tanks for 6,500 litres; and other associated site works.
In its written decision, the Planning Department at City Hall said: “The proposed development, would if permitted, facilitate the use of the site for the provision of sixty 15.5m high seed beds, which have been deemed by the planning authority not to be exempted development.
“Therefore a grant of permission for the proposed development would facilitate the unauthorised development and usage on the site, contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”
The site has been the subject of enforcement action by the local authority.
A lengthy Appropriate Assessment Screening report, submitted with the planning application, concluded “beyond reasonable scientific doubt, in view of the best scientific knowledge, on the basis of objective information and in light of the conservation objectives of the relevant European sites, that the proposed retention and development, individually or in combination with other plans and projects, has not and will not have a significant effect on any European site”.
A borehole Impact Assessment Report concluded that the proposed retention development “on the hydraulic properties of the aquifer is considered negligible”.
It said that there was “no potential for significant effects on water quality, groundwater dependent habitats or species associated with any European site”.
Six objections were lodged by neighbours, including one from the Roshill/Roscam Residents Association, which argued the Further Information submitted by the applicant did “little to allay our concerns” about the impact of the development on an “extremely sensitive site”.
The applicant has until June 29 to appeal the decision to An Bórd Pleanála.
NUIG student accommodation firm records loss
The property company which operates student accommodation on behalf of NUI Galway recorded a €3.4 million increase in turnover in 2019.
However, Atalia Student Residences DAC (Designated Activity Company), which is owned by the university, recorded a loss for the year of €6,300.
Accounts for the company for the year ended August 31, 2019, show that while there was a loss, retained profits are at more than €1.6 million. The accounts are the most up to date available from the Companies Registration Office.
The previous year, the company made a profit of more than €460,000.
Atalia Student Residences operates the 764-bed Corrib Village apartment complex and the 429-bed Goldcrest Village.
The figures show that the company’s overall turnover jumped by 52% – from €6.4m to €9.8m.
Turnover for accommodation services was up from €5.2m to €8.4m; and from conferences and events was up from €850,000 to €1.1m. Turnover from shops was down from almost €328,000 to €290,000.
Outside of the academic year, both complexes are used as accommodation for conference delegates, while Corrib Village is also used for short-term holiday lets.
The accounts show fixed assets – including fixtures and fittings, plant and machinery and office equipment – valued at €1.5m. Its current assets were valued at more than €7m, including ‘cash at bank and in hand’ of almost €6.9m (up from €5.6m last year).
The company owed creditors €6.9m, including €5.2m in deferred income.
It employed 38 people (which includes its five directors) last year, up from 31 the previous year.
As well as operating the student accommodation complexes, the company also markets conference facilities and services on behalf of the university.
It pays rent to NUIG but the figure is not included in the company accounts. In 2018, the rent figure was just over €2.25m.
In Corrib Village, a single bedroom with a private en suite for the academic year costs €5,950. For Goldcrest Village, the figure is €6,760.
Call for two-way cycling under Galway City outdoor dining plan
Bike users want the local authority to examine the introduction of two-way cycling on one-way city centre streets.
Galway Cycling Campaign has again called for cycling to be allowed both ways. It comes as Galway City Council prepares to cordon-off parts of city centre streets to traffic, and make Dominick Street Lower one-way, to facilitate outdoor dining.
The cycling organisation said that the proposed pedestrianisation plan at the Small Crane, and the one-way system on Dominick Street, will result in lengthy diversions for people on bikes.
It has pointed out that school children and their guardians who cycle along Raleigh Row, and turn right towards Sea Road, will probably continue to do so even when the Small Crane is cordoned off to traffic, because the alternative route – via Henry Street – is too long a detour.
Similarly, it has been suggested that food-delivery services on bikes are unlikely to go the ‘long way round’ via Mill Street and New Road to get from Bridge Mills to restaurants on Dominick Street and would be tempted to cycle the ‘wrong way’ down the proposed one-way street or on the footpath.
Shane Foran, committee member of Galway Cycling Campaign, said now would be an ideal time to introduce two-way cycling on some one-way streets.
“It’s not controversial,” insisted Mr Foran. “It’s a general principle in other countries, if you are putting in new traffic arrangements, you would try and keep access for people on bikes.”
The regulation is contained in the National Cycle Policy Framework 2009; and a specific objective was contained in two of the most recent previous City Development Plans.
He said a former minister and Galway West TD, the late Bobby Molloy, had the vision to change the legislation in the late 1990s – but it hasn’t yet been embraced here.
“Bobby Molloy, who couldn’t be classed as an eco warrior, changed the law in 1998, so that it is available to local authorities to put up a sign granting an exemption from restrictions for people cycling on one-way streets.
“The road stays one-way for cars, and two ways for bicycles. Clearly that’s not going to be a sensible to do everywhere, like Merchants’ Road. In those situations, you might need a cycle track or lane to segregate people from traffic.
“But if it’s a low traffic street, with low speeds or relatively lower volumes of cars, then it should be possible for people on bicycles to cycle in both directions and still have it one-way for cars, without it being a major safety issue. It works in other countries,” said Mr Foran.