Supporting Local News

Residents see red over Oughterard bridge traffic lights

More than one thousand people have lobbied Galway County Council to call a halt to plans for traffic lights at the bridge over Owenriff River on the N59 in Oughterard. 

A petition signed by 904 people was submitted to the Planning Office at County Hall last week by John Gibbons who is campaigning for a pedestrian bridge to be installed rather than lights.

Mr Gibbons, who organised and chaired a well-attended public meeting in the Connemara town a fortnight ago, said dozens more people submitted emails and written objections to the County Council opposing the lights.

“What the public want is a new pedestrian bridge. Why waste €1.2 million on lights when that would go a long way to providing a new footbridge to provide safe access to the two schools for up to 700 pupils,” asked Mr Gibbons.

Galway West TD Noel Grealish (Ind) has been informed that planning for a new footbridge at Carrowmanagh by Transport Infrastructure Ireland was at an advanced stage.

Deputy Grealish was due to meet with TII and the relevant Minister again this week for an update on the bridge plans.

“We are 30-odd years now waiting for a footbridge. That would solve the issue. That bridge was there hundreds of years before they put the schools in, why didn’t they put the footbridge in when they built the schools?,” Mr Gibbons added.

The petition tells officials in Galway County Council that the traffic lights proposal would be a “disaster for Oughterard”, and that was the feeling expressed at the recent public meeting.

Lights would cause delays to traffic from Galway to Clifden and local traffic, and could impact Bus Éireann and Citylink services, residents have claimed.

They argued that a new pedestrian bridge was the “safest option”.

Connemara councillors were in attendance at the public meeting.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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