Following an article by Declan Tierney last week regarding Claregalway Bypass, this letter has been sent to the Editor for publication.
As your article “Bypass go-ahead despite motorway development” included me in your photo while campaigning in 2006, I write to express surprise at the conclusion expressed in the article that a bypass of Claregalway “gets green light”.
The Claregalway Bypass Action Group was set up in 2004, when there were 27,000 vehicular movements per day. Seven Government Ministers visited Claregalway to see the traffic situation between 2004 and 2007. The Action Group disbanded in September 2007 when the newly elected Fianna Fáil/PD Government included a commitment in its Programme for Government to bypass Claregalway during the lifetime of the Government. They did not deliver on this commitment.
Since then “more than €200,000 has been spent on the design and selection of the route” and €50,000 was recently received by Galway County Council to progress the project. There is no evidence of a commitment to build a bypass or a relief road for Claregalway despite TD Noel Grealish’s stated opinion that ‘there’s no way that the Government would be spending money on the project if it was not going to proceed’. He also expects that an oral hearing into the project could be held this summer. Oral hearings have already taken place; the route has been planned.
There is no factual evidence of a reduction in the 40,000 traffic movements/day counted in 2007. The N17 motorway from Gort to Tuam is expected to remove heavy traffic from Claregalway. However, the population of the Claregalway and surrounding area has increased significantly since 2007. There is heavy traffic congestion both at the traffic light junction and the bridge, with tail backs reported daily by AA Roadwatch and as experienced by residents and commuters.
Factual information on the situation would be most welcome.
9 Lakeview, Claregalway
tel. 091 799 268
mob. 087 280 9932