Cllr Nuala Nolan says that commuters in Galway City have had a torturous week and hopes it will not be repeated ever!
Cllr Nolan says she has received a large number of emails and representations from weary and angry commuters who have gone through a week which they hope they will never have to go through again in their life time. To them it was Galway’s answer to Abu Ghraib.
Working mothers with children suffered great anxiety not knowing if baby sitters would be able to hold on to their children for an extra hour or two. They did not have the luxury of flexi-time, neither could they afford to pay extra for baby sitting. Owners of B&Bs and Guest Houses found that guests left in disgust at the inability to drive around the city. Shoppers living in the county were saying that they are now making Athlone their preferred destination where they feel more welcomed. Workers in the service industry said they were unable to deliver goods, patients were unable to keep Hospital appointments. Cllr Nolan is aware that the majority people did not know what was going on.
Commuters tried to avoid the Quincentennial Bridge by going through the Moneenagisha Junction but with the Docks area down to one lane and the Lough Ataila Road debacle not sorted only chaos could have been the only outcome of the present road works in the Newcastle area.
The N6 was meant to be a Bypass not an urban street and it is clear that this must be a free flow traffic area as it is a National Road directly linked to the Motorway. Putting in bus lanes on the N6 will naturally mean less space for motorists, this will cause more problems than it will solve. Galway is a Medieval City but only from Eyre Square to the Spanish Arch, the rest of the City has been built in the 20th Century. Cllr Nolan says that any mistakes in building a proper infrastructure can only be laid at the lack of vision for the city since the founding of the State, not at the door of the City Tribes in the 15th Century.
Under passes and Over Passes could have been built in the 1970s when you had the first real expansion of the city and they should still be an option. Dublin, Cork and Limerick have tunnels, flyovers, overpasses and slip roads. So why don’t we take time out from the present chaos and get back to the drawing board.
Cllr Nuala Nolan says that the 2011 Census shows that population has increased in Galway county, in some parts of the city it has declined. This has implications for the future which has to be factored into any changes in our Transport Infrastructure.
Cllr Nuala Nolan