Date Published: 21-Apr-2011
Hesitation. What an excellent initial response there was in the past week by our City Fathers to the proposal that we might replace any number of roundabouts with sets of traffic lights somewhat akin to those at Moneenageisha Cross.
This was no anti high-tech knee-jerk – this had to be the voice of reason and caution which was sibilantly whispering in the ears of at least some of the city councillors when someone came along with a €6 million solution that would transform all our lives.
Silly me! And there was I thinking that if you had a huge growth in traffic in Galway, and you built a motorway from Dublin to Galway, and then didn’t build the €400 million outer bypass to carry half of that traffic past the city because you wanted to preserve part of a slab of rock, you would have problems no matter how many sets of traffic
lights you put into action . . . or roundabouts!
The alleged solution looked all the more attractive when it was couched in high-tech language and seemed like it might be somewhat easily financed from the National Roads Authority; it would mean less congestion and that we would all be healthier because many more of us would be on bikes or walking the average 2 kilometres to work, though in some cases the average would be nearer to 4k.
Here, I have to point out, in the interests of fairness, that the proposal does predict a reduction in private car use if routes are more amenable to other road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. It also has to be said that previous route planning in Galway looked almost totally to the private car and left all others to take their chances on a hugely unfriendly system for commuters.
Under the plan as outlined last week, one of the economic clinchers would be that, according to consultants, for every euro spent, there would be a €4 cost benefit to us in terms of lifestyle, traffic movement and so on.
Like many another citizen of this traffic-snarled town I have become cautious in the face of apparently wizard solutions . . . one doesn’t wish to be churlish about this, but remember the Eyre Square transformation plans? And wasn’t it only a few years ago we were being told that roundabouts were the solution?
In other words, I reserve the right to be cautious . . . especially if someone tells me that, if there is a problem with this new traffic lights structure around the city, then someone in an office in the city will be able to change the lights at the flick of a switch.
To which my sceptical answer in the light of what we have endured in recent years has to be – Yeah? This from a local authority which appeared to play ‘Russian Roulette’ for months on end with the ‘intelligent’ lights at Moneenageisha Cross before they eventually appeared to work to their full potential.
My further reservation – and this may be in the minds of the city councillors – is that, if we multiply the potential fiddling about with ‘intelligent lights’ at up to six sets of new junctions, as a driver, am I likely to end up in ‘therapy’, or in a ditch somewhere between Salthill and Doughiska?
I may be greying and some say ‘losing it’, but in some things I am cursed with a long memory. Question me as to precisely where I was last Thursday and there may be a great hesitation on my part, but weren’t the now-hated roundabouts welcomed as a remarkable intervention no too many years ago?
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.