Road cannot be widened as residents’ pleas fall on deaf ears

Pascal Mannion: road warning. Photo: Johnny Ryan Photography.

Residents campaigning to have their local road in North Galway widened for safety reasons have met with Galway County Council officials earlier this week to outline their concerns.

The householders argue that – once the new motorway opens – traffic will intensify on the Tuam to Ballinrobe road which needs to be upgraded and realigned to cope with it.

The Kilbannon area residents have been told that there is no money in the Council’s coffers to fund a complete realignment of a section of the road in question – but it will be resurfaced.

Several years ago, a stretch from the old sugar factory on the Ballygaddy Road to Kilbannon was widened and the residents say that they were told that there would be another phase of road widening in advance of the new motorway being opened up. That has not happened.

A spokesman for the group, Paschal Mannion, said that he had been informed by Council engineers that the road further out would not be widened and that just four inches of tar would be laid on the existing surface.

“This is completely unacceptable and rather than resolve a traffic problem, it will just increase the risk of flooding for houses in the area,” he said.

Around 30 local residents and public representatives attended a meeting in Duddy’s of Kilbannon last weekend to discuss the situation.

Senior Council officials have committed to monitor additional traffic along the road towards Tuam – and if a major realignment is required, they will seek funding from the Government for this purpose.

There is Council funding available for resurfacing along a section of this road in Kilbannon – but some of those at the public meeting suggested that this should be ring-fenced for a road-widening project.

However, the meeting was informed by Minister Sean Canney that if this money for road resurfacing was not spent in Kilbannon, it would be directed to another part of the county.

Council officials agree that once the motorway opens, there will be an increase in traffic along this road but say that they have no funding to carry out a full realignment of a stretch from Duddy’s to Kilconly GAA pitch, which locals say is narrow and dangerous.