Galway Bay fm newsroom – A public hearing to discuss traffic congestion in Galway city has taken place at Leinster House this afternoon.
The meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport aimed to discuss the current problems facing the road network and the raft of alleviation works currently underway.
The meeting – which finished up just before 5pm – was attended by a number of Galway’s public representatives – as well as stakeholders from groups including the Department of Transport, the National Transport Authority and Galway’s local authorities.
Those in attendance included NTA Chief Executive Anne Graham – who provided a summary of the considerable issues in Galway.
Vice President with Medtronic in Galway, Tony Neary, told those in attendance that there’s only one thing in Parkmore that has not changed in 35 years – the access road network.
Many consider the proposed N6 Galway City Outer Bypass to be the ultimate solution to the chronic traffic issues.
However, measures to tackle the situation in the meantime include an enhanced city transport network, improved bus network, new park and ride services, and new cycling and walking routes.
City Chief Executive Brendan McGrath told this afternoon’s meeting that Galway’s road network is operating significantly beyond capacity – sometimes up to 150%.
Senior Engineer Uinsinn Finn outlined what measures are being taken under the Galway Transport Strategy.
However, at this afternoon’s meeting, NTA Chief Anne Graham strongly ruled out a light rail system for Galway.
HSE Chief Highlights Progress At Hospitals In The West Following Cyber Attack
From the Galway Bay FM Newsroom:
The Chief Operations Officer of the HSE says there has been huge progress at hospitals in the West as they recover from last month’s cyber attack.
The ransomware attack on the HSE’s IT systems saw numerous services and outpatient appointments cancelled at UHG, Merlin Park and Portiuncula hospital.
Earlier this week the Oireachtas Health Committee heard that the overall cost to the HSE of the attack could amount to half a billion euro.
Speaking on Galway Talks with Keith Finnegan earlier, HSE Chief Operations Officer Anne O’ Connor says while the situation has improved at hospitals in the West there are still a number of challenges:
City Council Defers Motion To Adopt National Park City Status
From the Galway Bay FM Newsroom:
Galway City Council has deferred voting on a motion calling for Galway to adopt National Park City status.
The motion was brought before the council by Green Party Councillor Niall Murphy at this week’s pre-draft plan consultation process meeting for the Galway City Development Plan 2023-2029.
The motion tabled by Councillor Murphy called for a recommendation to be added to the new City Development Plan that Galway will adopt the National Park City initiative mission statement.
The National Park City for Galway initiative, which President Michael D Higgins is a patron of, seeks to make the city a greener, safer, sustainable and wilder environment where people value, benefit from, and are strongly connected to the rest of nature.
The designation was formally launched in 2019 when London became the first city in the world to claim this status.
At this week’s City Development Plan meeting, the City Manager Brendan McGrath explained his recommendations for the motion and why he was urging caution.
Mr McGrath said he fully backed the spirit of the concept but warned it could have far reaching implications for planning and economic development in the city.
He said many of its aims are also supported through other plans and strategies at city level such as the Heritage Plan and Climate Adaptation Strategy.
Mr McGrath added that designating a city as a national park does not match the criteria for national park status in Ireland and warned it could impact ambitious projects such as the Cappagh Aquatic Centre and the major redevelopment of Sandy Road.
Mr McGrath’s comments were echoed by several Councillors who said they would like to be fully briefed on all the possible implications of the initiative before deciding whether or not to include the proposal in the new City Development Plan.
Ultimately the motion was deferred after a roll call vote, with 11 in favour of the deferral, five against and two absent, and it will be reviewed again later in the development plan process.