Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

CITY TRIBUNE

Overhaul plan for Ceannt Station set to be progressed

Enda Cunningham

Published

on

Iarnród Éireann has revived plans for a multi-million euro overhaul of Ceannt Station – which includes extended platforms for increased services, new glazed entrances and modern retail units.

The State-sponsored body has been told that the National Transport Authority (NTA) will fund 50% of the cost of the scheme and an application will be made under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF).

The project was originally granted planning permission in 2014, but was shelved in 2015 after funding was withdrawn by the NTA.

It is a separate scheme to the proposed new ‘urban quarter’ on eight acres of land beside the railway station, for which developer Gerry Barrett has been awarded the contract.

With planning permission on the station’s expansion set to expire in August, Iarnród Éireann has applied to Galway City Council for an ‘Extension of Duration’ on the permission for a period of five years. As a general rule, planning permissions expire after five years if a project is not constructed.

The company has now indicated that it expects the scheme can be completed by the end of 2023.

“Funding for construction of the development was to come from the NTA with an anticipated draw-down date of mid-2015. Funding was withdrawn in early 2015. This was beyond the control of Iarnród Éireann.

How Ceannt may look

“The NTA has confirmed [this month] that 50% of funding will be available from them for this project. Our intention is for the remaining 50% to come from the URDF,” the City Council was told.

The plans involve the extension of the existing bay platform to allow for six-car Inter City trains and the construction of a new 200m full-length platform; modern retail units, new glazed entrances and state-of-the-art ticketing areas at the train and bus station.

It is also proposed to construct a new 1,000 square foot single-storey glazed entrance building on the northern side of the station and an extension to the north-eastern bay platform.

The plans involve some demolition works and removal of walls within the train station to provide additional ticket purchase facilities, enlarged concourse areas, new toilet facilities and new ticket inspector accommodation.

On the southern side of the building, the existing stores and maintenance area will be refurbished to provide 25,000 sq ft of space with new entrance plazas and glazed entrances, and an extended train concourse and platform.

There will also be glazed retail ‘pods’ as well as a new toilet block.

When the original application was approved, planners ordered that a Conservation Architect and qualified archaeologist monitor the works to ensure the preservation of features or other objects of archaeological interest. Irish Rail were also been ordered to introduce a management regime to ensure the carpark is restricted to the travelling public, including the ticketing and exiting mechanism.

They added that the permission should not be interpreted as prejudicing the future redevelopment of the site, or the feasibility of providing a rail link to Galway Harbour lands.

The City Council is expected to make a decision in August on the application for more time to construct the scheme.

Rationale behind Irish Rail’s plans

“The existing station public area in Ceannt Station is undersized to accommodate the level of public at present, it consists of only two dedicated rooms, the entrance lobby and the waiting room,” according to Iarnród Éireann planning documentation.

“This proposal is cognisant to the future development of a second full platform and makes passive space for this long-term objective. It allows for a phased approach in achieving this with initial phases being possible without impeding later on more extensive refurbishment.

“This increase in area will provide sorely-needed internal waiting and circulation space and allow Ceannt Station to become a more accessible and attractive location for bus and rail passengers.

“The proposal is to link all areas of the existing station building as much as possible, this will allow circulation from the existing entrance through to the new interchange link and into the extended public areas.

“The existing Iarnród Éireann and Bus Éireann ticket offices will be reconfigured to create a larger ticket hall and fully-accessible ticket counter. Additional ticket vending machines will be installed also.

“It is proposed to create additional passenger areas in the vacant Bus Éireann stores and garage area. The space available in this area is approximately 1,600 square metres. It is envisaged that this area will provide a combined waiting area and retail spaces.

“It is proposed to open and glaze the existing stone wall arches, this will create a colonnaded entrance from the southern side of the station.

“A new entrance from the car park side is proposed, this area will be glazed and screened from the platform areas. It will consist of a raised podium level, this is level with the station platforms.”

CITY TRIBUNE

Saving on school books

Dara Bradley

Published

on

Secondary school students struggling with back-to-school costs, or looking for a bargain, can shave as much as 40% off the cost of school books – if they buy second hand.

And The Book Exchange on Lower Abbeygate Street in Galway City will even buy back good-quality school books, which it then re-sells.

“You typically can get 40% off the retail value of books if you shop with us. We generally say that if you spend €100 on new books, they’d be €60 here,” said Gary Healy of The Book Exchange.

It doesn’t stock a full-range of books, like Eason’s or other new school book retailers, but it caters well for Senior cycle students in secondary school in particular.

“Most of the fifth year and sixth year books are here, whether it’s maths such as Active Maths 4, Active Maths 3 or Irish books like Fuinneamh Nua. We have a lot of language books and a lot of the optional subjects. In general, almost all the firth and sixth year secondary school curriculum can be got second hand. With the Junior Cert, it’s only a couple of subjects that are available and it depends on the school. English books at Junior Cert can be gotten second-hand, and then sometimes the optional subjects like woodwork, tech graphics, music,” he said.

The Book Exchange will go through the booklist with the students or parents, although customers are advised to get in touch in advance.

“I’d advise anybody to stick a nose in to us with a list, or even give us a ring, or an email. We’re always happy to go down through the list with people, and walk them through it because one of the biggest things that can be a problem with the school book list, is when it specifies a book for a parent to get, it could say ‘new edition’ but in many cases ‘new edition’ just means it’s called the new edition, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s new. It could be 10 years after and it would still be called the ‘new edition’.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Changes to garda structure require ‘feet on the ground’

Francis Farragher

Published

on

STRUCTURAL changes in Garda management – which will see the current Western Region merged with the Northern area – need to be backed up with ‘feet on the ground’, according to the Chairperson of the city’s Joint Policing Committee.

Cllr Niall McNelis said he also had concerns over the impact that a reduction in Garda Superintendents and Chief Superintendents could have on the management of the force across the Galway region.

“I know that the stated intention of the Commissioner [Drew Harris] is to increase the frontline presence of Gardaí but this cannot be achieved without more feet on the ground.

“There also has to be concerns over an apparent lack of consultation on the changes with Garda Superintendents who really play a key role in managing the Garda resources at local level,” said Cllr McNelis.

He added that in the aftermath of the financial crash in Ireland, Garda resources – both in terms of personnel and equipment – had taken a huge hit, with this ‘lost ground’ still not being made up.

“The bottom line in all of this is: will we see more Gardaí on the beat; more Gardaí operating at local level and in touch with local people; and also a management structure that’s in touch with local communities?” Cllr McNelis asked.

One of the major changes announced by Commissioner Drew Harris is a reduction in the number of national Garda regions across the country from six to four, each one under the control of an Assistant Commissioner.  The Western Garda Region – that had consisted of Galway, Clare, Roscommon/Longford and Mayo – will now be merged into one region amalgamating with the North.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Traffic gridlock – specialist traffic control operator at City Hall among proposed solutions

Francis Farragher

Published

on

THE city came close to complete gridlock on last Tuesday with a combination of minor accidents, roadworks, visitor numbers, an influx of shoppers and bad weather, making it a nightmare afternoon and evening for motorists.

Eyre Square, College Road, Lough Atalia, the Moneenagheisha junction and the dual-carriageway leading up to the Briarhill traffic-lights, endured the most severe clog-ups, but commuters across the city reported long delays from lunchtime through to the later evening period.

Former Mayor of Galway and taxi-operator, Cllr Frank Fahy, told the Galway City Tribune that by early afternoon he had to abandon his efforts to continue working.

“I know that there was a huge volume of traffic in the city due to back-to-school shoppers and there were also reports of a number of minor accidents, but I still think that we can do better in terms of managing the flow of vehicles.

“The roadworks in Bohermore were no help and there were reports of a number of minor accidents but we also have real problems with parking and signage issues in the city.

“And most of all, we need a hands-on specialist traffic control operator – experienced and skilled in traffic management – in the control room at City Hall, to monitor flows at all our key junctions,” said Cllr Fahy.

Public transport also got completely bogged down in the Tuesday evening snarl-up with bus commuters from the city to Oranmore reporting a journey time of close on one hour and 20 minutes.

Buses took up to 20 minutes to make it from their stops in Eyre Square to even get onto College Road which had almost ground to a complete standstill at around 5.30pm.

Another motorist told the Galway City Tribune that his journey time from Forster Street to the Briarhill junction was one hour and 50 minutes on Tuesday evening – 4.10pm to 6pm.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Local Ads

Weather

Weather Icon
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending