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Galway Bay FM News Archives

If there’s a jam, someone in an office will flick a switch. Yeah?

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Date Published: 21-Apr-2011

Hesitation. What an excellent initial response there was in the past week by our City Fathers to the proposal that we might replace any number of roundabouts with sets of traffic lights somewhat akin to those at Moneenageisha Cross.

This was no anti high-tech knee-jerk – this had to be the voice of reason and caution which was sibilantly whispering in the ears of at least some of the city councillors when someone came along with a €6 million solution that would transform all our lives.

Silly me! And there was I thinking that if you had a huge growth in traffic in Galway, and you built a motorway from Dublin to Galway, and then didn’t build the €400 million outer bypass to carry half of that traffic past the city because you wanted to preserve part of a slab of rock, you would have problems no matter how many sets of traffic

lights you put into action . . . or roundabouts!

The alleged solution looked all the more attractive when it was couched in high-tech language and seemed like it might be somewhat easily financed from the National Roads Authority; it would mean less congestion and that we would all be healthier because many more of us would be on bikes or walking the average 2 kilometres to work, though in some cases the average would be nearer to 4k.

Here, I have to point out, in the interests of fairness, that the proposal does predict a reduction in private car use if routes are more amenable to other road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. It also has to be said that previous route planning in Galway looked almost totally to the private car and left all others to take their chances on a hugely unfriendly system for commuters.

Under the plan as outlined last week, one of the economic clinchers would be that, according to consultants, for every euro spent, there would be a €4 cost benefit to us in terms of lifestyle, traffic movement and so on.

Like many another citizen of this traffic-snarled town I have become cautious in the face of apparently wizard solutions . . . one doesn’t wish to be churlish about this, but remember the Eyre Square transformation plans? And wasn’t it only a few years ago we were being told that roundabouts were the solution?

In other words, I reserve the right to be cautious . . . especially if someone tells me that, if there is a problem with this new traffic lights structure around the city, then someone in an office in the city will be able to change the lights at the flick of a switch.

To which my sceptical answer in the light of what we have endured in recent years has to be – Yeah? This from a local authority which appeared to play ‘Russian Roulette’ for months on end with the ‘intelligent’ lights at Moneenageisha Cross before they eventually appeared to work to their full potential.

My further reservation – and this may be in the minds of the city councillors – is that, if we multiply the potential fiddling about with ‘intelligent lights’ at up to six sets of new junctions, as a driver, am I likely to end up in ‘therapy’, or in a ditch somewhere between Salthill and Doughiska?

I may be greying and some say ‘losing it’, but in some things I am cursed with a long memory. Question me as to precisely where I was last Thursday and there may be a great hesitation on my part, but weren’t the now-hated roundabouts welcomed as a remarkable intervention no too many years ago?

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Galway Bay FM News Archives

Galway has country’s largest population of young people

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Date Published: 07-May-2013

Galway has a population of young people which is more than twice the national average.

According to information gathered by the Central Statistics Office, Galway’s population of 20 to 24 year olds is more than twice the national average.

The number of 25-34 year olds in Galway is also more than the norm nationally, with the two main colleges thought to be the main reason.

However immigration in Galway is much higher than in other areas at 19.4 percent, compared to the national average of 12 percent.

 

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Call for direct donations to city charity shops

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Date Published: 07-May-2013

A city councillor is encouraging people to donate goods directly to charity shops.

It follows allegations of thefts from clothes banks in Galway and across the country in recent months.

However, cameras are in place at some clothes banks and surveillance is carried out by local authorities.

Speaking on Galway Talks, Councillor Neil McNeilis said the problem of theft from clothes banks is widespread.

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent

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Date Published: 07-May-2013

A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.

That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.

The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.

Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.

Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.

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