Investment in Galway city’s public, pedestrian, and cycling transport infrastructure must not neglect the city centre outskirts said Galway city council candidate Joe Loughnane.
The People Before Profit candidate for the city council’s central ward said that the Galway Transport Strategy, which is going for planning in September after a public consultation this summer, is a “welcome and much-needed development” for the city centre.
The strategy aims to take the majority of private cars and other vehicles out of the city centre by prioritising public transport, pedestrians, and cyclists along an area covering University Road, the Salmon Weir Bridge, Eglinton Street, Eyre Square, Forster Street and College Road.
The Salmon Weir Bridge in particular will be closed to private vehicle traffic and the majority of pedestrian traffic across the Corrib at that point will be via a new footbridge to be constructed.
However Joe Loughnane has said that while the council is developing this area, parts of the city central ward further out which are in “dire need” of cycling and pedestrian infrastructure must not be neglected.
He said that speaking with residents in the outskirts of the the city central district around Ballindooley, Menlo, Circular Road and Rahoon Road, the “sudden drop off” in the quality and availability of footpaths and cycling lanes is “stark”.
“In a lot of cases, residents feel like they’ve been left out of developments that the city centre benefits from, despite being part of the same ward.”
“This can lead to communities feeling disconnected from the wider community and the sense that local politicians aren’t really paying any attention to their needs.”
According to Joe Loughnane improving infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists in those areas would not only help reengage them with the community, but would have strong knock-on environmental benefits.
“With proper improvements to the cycling infrastructure from areas like Rahoon and the Circular Road, we could reduce the number of private cars on the road and start making progress towards lowering Galway’s transport emissions.”