Businesses on the busy N17 at Knockdoe, badly hit by controversial traffic calming measures put in place at the junction, are hopeful that the National Roads Authority (NRA) will now sit down with them and make changes that will ensure the loss of trade caused by the alterations can be reversed.
Independent Councillor for the Oranmore Electoral Area Jim Cuddy has confirmed that the NRA have agreed to fund remedial works at the Knockdoe junction where traffic calming measures were installed last year.
“Following representations that I made to the NRA after concerns were expressed to me by motorists and business people in the area, I have not received a letter from the NRA stating that they will allocate funds to Galway County Council to alter the traffic measures at the junction.” said Cllr Cuddy.
Pat Everiss who operates the Daybreak supermarket and deli at Knockdoe says that because the road changes have made it far more difficult for customers’ cars and delivery vehicles to access his shop, business has been badly hit.
“Our deli was a stop-off point for many truck drivers who want to have a breakfast roll or some other food but now as they can’t turn in their trucks due to the way the traffic calming measures were installed they don’t stop here now.
“Also our other customers find it difficult to see the new entrances to our shop and that has also hit our business badly. The passing traffic also needs to be made aware that we are still operating and we need additional signage to show where the entrances are,” says Pat.
He also says that delivery trucks find it difficult to negotiate the bollards and traffic islands that were put into the road when the changes were made.
“Trucks delivering coal to us have to reverse around the front of the shop when trying to get out and it is a bottleneck, especially if they are trying to get back onto the N17 on the Galway side,” he added.
“We just want to sit down now with the Co Council and the NRA and work out a sensible way to benefit everybody, we are not here for fighting or disagreeing but just to come to an amicable solution that will solve the problem,” says Pat.
These sentiments are echoed by Eugene Geraghty of Geraghty Wood Products, which has been badly hit by the problems facing articulated trucks and lorries delivering and collecting goods from his factory which is just off the N17 on the Corrandulla-Slievefinn Road.
“It is so difficult for the big articulated trucks to negotiate the corner from the Galway side in particular. That is from where most of them come and I have met the Co Council Engineer on this.
“If they had negotiated with a local land owner they could have been able to get a piece of land to enable that corner to be made wider. But there are also question marks about the bus stop being badly situated near that corner and buses, when stopped there, blocking off the view of traffic coming from the Corrandulla-Slievefinn Road,” says Eugene.
He added that the general view was that if this bus stop was moved to the Tuam side of the shops it would be far safer for everybody, including those getting off the buses.
Eugene added that there is also a timber fence around a soak pit on the corner of the N17–Corrandulla–Slievefinn road which is interfering with the vision of motorists trying to access the main road from the Corrandulla side.
Business at the popular Lydon’s Pub is also understood to have been impacted by the changes to the road layout.
Cllr Jim Cuddy says he has spoken with the Senior Engineer in Galway County Council and has asked him to meet with local people before any work is started, so that they know what is to be changed and allow them to express their views.
“This junction was designed by the NRA, but there have been many complaints including the effect it has had on local businesses, difficulty for lorries in negotiating the junction, the position of the bus stop and general safety and site distance concerns.
“The changes which will have to be implemented are of a technical nature to try and address these issues and I will be liaising closely with Galway Co Council and local people to ensure that any work which is carried out will result in real improvements,” said Cllr. Cuddy.