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‘Rapid response system’ could tackle traffic chaos


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

‘Rapid response system’ could tackle traffic chaos ‘Rapid response system’ could tackle traffic chaos

The painful effects of ‘crippling traffic snarl ups’ could be dulled by the response of a ‘rapid response system’.

That’s according to a city councillor who has called for more effective operation of City Hall’s ‘underutilised’ Urban Traffic Management Centre (UTMC) – a facility which cost around €1.5 million to install.

Cllr Peter Keane (FF) said the centre, which screens live CCTV footage of more than 50 junctions in the city, facilitated intervention in traffic light sequencing and would enable a rapid response when collisions or incidents caused gridlock on the roads.

But he said, despite frequent questions about how the UTMC was operating, the Council Executive was treating this information “like the Third Secret of Fatima”.

The centre had been sold to councillors as a means of monitoring traffic in real-time and facilitating an immediate response to incidents, similar to how roads in Dublin are managed.

However, it was unclear if and when the Galway facility was staffed, or if City Hall engineers were intervening when a response was required.

“It’s very difficult to get any information as to how it is operating – we’re not told if it’s manned, at what times, or what level of intervention we have.

“We have situations arising like an incident on the Quincentenary Bridge at 8.30am and then, traffic travelling in every direction around the city grinds to a halt for three hours,” said Cllr Keane.

“I raised this question again at a recent Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) meeting and the response was that it was a matter for the ‘blue light’ services,” he added.

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