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CITY TRIBUNE

Plans for radical changes to Galway City’s traffic flow

Dara Bradley

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Galway City Tribune – More details of planned changes to Galway’s streets – aimed at improving traffic flows and incentivising greater bus use, cycling and walking – have been unveiled by the local authority.

Galway City councillors were presented with a whole host of proposed changes to the city’s streetscape including the removal of on-street parking, more bus lanes and measures that would give buses priority over private cars, as well as more cycle lanes, new link roads, and changes to the flow of traffic on certain roads, from one-way to two-way and vice-versa.

Senior Executive Engineer with the Council, Uinsinn Finn, outlined there were three main elements to the plan, each of which could have significant impacts on residents, depending on the locality, but the ‘bigger picture’ is for improvements in traffic flows overall.

One is a city centre access network, to improve flows around the city; the other is a city centre access route, improving traffic flow between Lough Atalia and Headford Road; and the third plank of the plan is bus priority or bus-only measures aimed at reducing bus-journey times through the city. One main element of this is a bus corridor linking the Séamus Quirke Road in Westside with Eyre Square, via a bus corridor through University Hospital Galway and Salmon Weir Bridge.

Mr Finn explained that in the new plan, vehicles would not be allowed to enter at one end of College Road and exit the other – there would be no ‘through traffic’. It would be for local access only and priority would be given to buses on this road.

A new outbound bus lane along College Road leading into Moneenageisha Junction is proposed and will require road-widening opposite the Huntsman. New cycle lanes are proposed for College Road and Moneenageisha Road.

An ‘Inner City Access Route’ will be two-way, linking Lough Atalia to the N6, via Fairgreen Road, Bóthar Uí hEithir, Prospect Hill, Bóthar na mBan and Headford Road. Fairgreen Road is currently three lanes, including a bus lane, and is a one-way system. The bus lane will be removed and road changed to two-way.

The roundabout at Cemetery Cross is to be retained but will be switched to a four-arm junction with the existing Sandy Road arm of the roundabout to be closed-off. A new link road between Sandy Road and Seán Mulvoy Road will instead be built.
This is a preview only. To read extensive coverage of the transportation plans, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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