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Galway bypass

category galway | environment | opinion/analysis author Saturday April 07, 2007 16:21author by useless eater Report this post to the editors

Frank Fahy has launched a webpage called www.isupportthebypass.com

Ye can add yer votes and comments.
I do NOT support the bypass for the following reasons:

- Bypassing makes sense when a good public transport system is in place. Galway desperately needs an excellent bus and light rail service. It also makes sense when rampant development doesn't follow along the edges of the bypass- this will clearly happen though if the bypass is built since vested interests (FF and PD friends) dearly want it to happen.

- The newspapers scream of climate change, yet still we build more and more damn roads. We should be REDUCING our carbon footprint by switching to more environmentally benign transport.

- Peak oil is around the corner i.e. oil deposits are shrinking fast and we alredy use much more oil than we are discovering. As oil gets scarcer, prices will (and are) rocketing. Soon only the (very) rich will be able to afford private transport.

- Galway already has a bypass. How many more bypasses need to be built? Cars are the problem- there are too many of them. People need to be enticed onto public transport but this will only happen when buses etc are fast, clean, reliable and efficient. Certainly NOT the case in Galway today. People will switch given the opportunity- look at the LUAS in Dublin (if only it were more extensive....!)

- International best practice tells us time and time again not to look at the American model (which we have replicated) ie putting cars and bypasses first before bus/rail. Witness the London M25 bypass -the so-called 'world's biggest car park'.

Related Link: http://www.isupportthebypass.com
author by Derrick - An Taiscepublication date Tue Apr 10, 2007 16:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Secretary
An Bord Pleanala
64 Marlborough Street
Dublin 1

January 22, 2007

Re: Environmental Impact Statement of the proposed N6 Galway City Outer By-pass

Dear Sir,

An Taisce’s Galway Association members have noted that, in accordance with the EU Directives on Environmental Impact Assessment, An Bord Pleanala must ascertain whether the information supplied by the developer on the proposed scheme is in compliance with the requirements of the EIA Directive and in particular with Section 5.3 which states that the information shall include at least:

a description of the project comprising information on the site, design and size of the project,

a description of the measures envisaged in order to avoid, reduce and, if possible, remedy significant adverse effects,

the data required to identify and assess the main effects which the project is likely to have on the environment,

an outline of the main alternatives studied by the developer and an indication of the main reasons for his choice, taking into account the environmental effects,

Having satisfied itself that the information supplied is in compliance, the Board is then, prior to granting a consent, required to perform an assessment according to Article 3 which states that the environmental impact assessment shall identify, describe and assess the direct and indirect effects of a project on the following factors:

human beings, fauna and flora;
soil, water, air, climate and the landscape;
material assets and the cultural heritage;
the interaction between the factors mentioned in the first, second and third indents.

In the performance of our statutory prescribed function An Taisce wish to draw the attention of the Board to a number of areas in which the EIS, submitted to justify this development, fails to provide adequate information to enable the Board to make this decision.
Part of the chosen N6 GCOBP route, particularly, would pass through designated High Priority Natura 2000 Habitat areas, by raising an embankment through Ballindooly Lough, cutting on beside Coolagh Fen (with its network of habitats of European Community interest and value), destroying important Limestone pavement at Coolagh/Ballindooly, would cross over the river Corrib through wetland habitat at Kentfield, which lies within the Lough Corrib cSAC, going on to divide upland bog at Bolybeg and would be likely to dramatically affect ecosystems and damage biodiversity in all these. Therefore. This road scheme should only be pursued if it can be demonstrated that it:

is the right solution for the specific problem in question. Will not damage delicate natural environments, protected structures, buildings or, destroy archaeology.

this road scheme should only be selected after all other options (such as lorry routing, speed reduction measures and investment in public transport) have been fully considered;

will not lead to traffic growth or longer journeys, or undermine the availability and use of public transport by making road transport more attractive. It should also not reduce the opportunity to walk and cycle by, for example, creating an intimidating environment for pedestrians and cyclists or severing existing routes;

decisions on new roads should not be taken in isolation. They should further appropriate land use policies and not encourage sprawl;

is justified in terms of any claimed economic benefits. The effect of the proposed road scheme on the local economy should be scrutinised carefully through a full and transparent Economic Impact Report;

will be introduced alongside measures designed to manage the expected demand for car use, to prevent any gains from the new road being eroded by new traffic;

will not generate additional development pressures on the surrounding countryside, and is not being constructed to deprive other, more worthwhile transport initiatives of scarce resources;

An Taisce believes that in Ireland it is probable, as with recent schemes, that much of the expenditure on roads will generate more traffic in a vicious cycle of unsustainability (Dublins M50 is just such an example). In this case, if any new road is built, it should be built to the highest standards with appropriate use of tunnelling, careful use of landscape bridges and animal underpasses, low (or ideally, no) lighting, quiet road surfacing and minimal use of visually intrusive signing and flyovers. It should be noted that An Taisce members in Galway are, not ordinarily against the building of new roads or bypasses where these can be shown to benefit communities. However, we believe their role should be very limited, and they should be an option of last resort.

Yours faithfully

Derrick Hambleton
An Taisce - Galway Association

author by jaypublication date Tue Apr 10, 2007 22:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

in relation to the original poster, you clearly don't live in galway city, because there is nothing even approaching a bypass here. Galway needs this bypass, even if we take out the private transport factor, you still have delivery vehicles, emergency services, buses and tradesmen desperately needing this bypass to serve the city and county.

author by galwegian cyclistpublication date Wed Apr 11, 2007 13:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jay i think its you who needs the reality check. I live in galway and the only reason commercial vehicles, buses and emergency services need a bypass is because they can't get through the city because its blocked up by private transport.

Go look at the traffic along lough atalia or the monivea road around the back by the route over the quincentennial bridge at rush hour an tell me what percentage of it is private vehicles with one driver and no passenger. As a cyclist who weaves through them every day i can tell you its definitly over 90%.

We don't need a bypass we need an exclusion zone for private vehicles in conjuction with light rail systems and a real bus service (rather than the the bus impediment we have at the moment)

If we took a fraction of the money squandered on roads, we could have an excellent public transport system. Unfortunatly as it is, we have politicians that pander to the desires of their constituents which in Galways case at least means the convenience and selfishness of personal car ownership will always win out over real issues like climate change and sustainable resource usage. That is of course until oil gets too expensive maybe in the next 10 yeas or so (anybodies guess) and everybody starts whinging about the lack of public transport, after its too late of course.

author by diko - nonepublication date Wed Apr 11, 2007 15:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If ye think that the town is clogged up with vehicles now, wait until ye see it when they have all arrived from every corner of the land on high tech motorways and end up funnelled into the headford road, it will make the famous M 50 look like a deserted beach, and the wonderful, failure of a roundabout with traffic lights and uncontrolled entrances will just be a place to grow old and die.Perhaps they should build an A and E centre on it, as God help anybody who may want to get to hospital in a hurry without the bypass, no better still put a crematorium on it, cause they won't be able to get to the cemetery either.

author by wageslavepublication date Thu Apr 12, 2007 07:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

can anyone place an "x" (or several) along this route where frank fahy and/or his associate's land interests lie then post the map here

author by Johnpublication date Thu Apr 12, 2007 09:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Apart from the convenience aspect, you ignore the safety aspect of having a bypass. Bypasses and motorways save lives as they divert traffic away from areas where there are large numbers of pedestrians, cyclists etc. Yet, environmentalist cranks have opposed virtually every new motorway and bypass built in this country in the past decade. The average road deaths rate in the six eastern seabord counties around Dublin (Dublin, Meath, Louth, Kildare, Wicklow, Wexford) and in the six counties of N. Ireland is about half the rate in the other twenty counties. The reason is that in these twelve counties there are hundreds of miles of motorway and virtually every large town is bypassed. We need to extend the same level of road infrastructure to the other twenty counties on the island as soon as possible.

author by Positive Changepublication date Thu Apr 12, 2007 13:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Galway City and environs urgently need a solution to its unbearable traffic problem. The amount of time wasted by people sitting in traffic both morning and evening is criminal. It is bad for family life, for peoples health and for the environment.

The proposed GCOB would take at least 30,000 cars out of the city centre daily, traffic flow would be resumed at peak times and getting across the city would be a dream as opposed to the current nightmare scenario. The people and the business community have wanted this for the longest time.

If we can combine the construction of the bypass with the implementation of Quality Bus Corridoors, improving our rail infrastructure and ensuring that any future development around GCOB does not hinder traffic, then the benefits to the city and county would be enormous.

The left wing parties of the Greens, Labour and Sinn Fein oppose the bypass, but most of their offered alternatives are simply not realistic. The Mayor who is supposed to represent the citizens of Galway is using the issue as a political football.

A website www.isupportthebypass.com is available for the people of Galway to voice their genuine opinions.

Related Link: http://www.isupportthebypass.com
author by petepublication date Thu Apr 12, 2007 17:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you look at the history of car usage in any country it quite obvious that more roads=more cars.

If we build a bypass it may free up the city temporarily but in another few years the bypass and the city will be jammed.

The solution is not to keep throwing good money after bad and start coming up with real public transport solutions.

Yes this means we can't all have our own motorized transport but if we spent the money on a good public transport system it would be even better.

Most car drivers hate the idea of public transport because they associate it with the current system which is shite. A real public transport system will have extensive bus and light rail systems that run every five to ten minutes even in outlying areas. Combine this with a few more creative solutions like the hop-on hopoff anywhere sangchaw vans in asia and bicycle depots and people would easily get rid of the hassle of having to maintain their own personal car.

The real problem is convincing people and getting over the gap where all this has to put in place. This requires genuine interest from the populace and a government ( or preferably a network based democracy ;-) ) that actively pushes and funds the ideas.

What we have at the moment is a government that runs public transport into the ground trough underfunding and lack of vision thus making it look like an "unrealistic alternative" while simultaneously funding road construction because its a good election issue and feeds into peoples personal desire to fly to work quickly in their own personal car, a desire which is formed in the part by the selfish indivualistic mindset that our whole society is enmeshed in.

The only "unrealistic alternative" on the table however is actually further road construction because with peak oil on the horizon running a personal car will soon be beyond the pockets of most average people at which point the planned bypass will become the largest most expensive bicyle track ever built and our economy will tank because people will have no way to get to work cheaply.

author by gníomhaípublication date Fri Apr 13, 2007 14:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In addition, Menlo will be destroyed if the bypass is built- we should really be asking the inhabitants of the people it will affect whether or not they want this needless road. A large number of Menlo people are against it.

author by Laois hobopublication date Mon Apr 16, 2007 22:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The problem is that the rest of us who don't live in Galway don't want to drive into town on our way to Connemara. We've needed that road for years.

I don't support Fahy and I feel sorry for Menlo. They will get their compo the same as anyone else. A strong campaign by them will up the price the rest of us have to pay.

author by useless eaterpublication date Thu Apr 19, 2007 12:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I believe the website www.isupportthebypass.com has been doctored by the FF-ers.

Frank Fahey alleged that 90% of people in Galway are in favour of the bypass, but his voting facility on the bypass website consistently showed a drop in support for the bypass. That is, up until the voting facility was withdrawn (over allegations from FF that the Greens were involved in sabotaging the voting) The vote was 45% for, 55% against before the withdrawal. Now it's up again and it shows 18% opposed. It has stuck stubbornly at this percentage for 2 weeks now.

Ask yourselves who do you believe- FF with their long history of scandal and corruption or those opposing the bypass and the Greens?

Please log onto this website and write your comments- I have to say I am not against bypasses per say, but in this instance it is just to re-zone and develop land (Frank Fahey is one of Ireland's biggest property developers). In addition, Public Transport has been neglected for so long......

Related Link: http://www.isupportthebypass.com
author by Derrick - Galwaypublication date Sun Sep 16, 2007 21:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I would say that the number of people contributing comments to this subject is dominated by those who believe that, in this instance, a by-pass will not resolve the problem Galway has with its traffic.

Many have commented on the existing poor quality of public transport currently available and the fact that many people do not see public transport as a solution. I would recommend that the doubters would look at the Transport 2000 website, where they will see many instances of where transport solutions are making a difference both in the UK and in Europe.

Irish governments both local and national havn't a clue, or any single interest in making changes by fully investing in public transport solutions for the west of Ireland, or anywhere else outside of the pale. They earn too much in motoring taxes to want to really make adifference. What is now needed is for people with ability to calculate the full cost of building more motorways (in environmental, physical and fuel costs terms) against the social benefits to be expected of improving public transport. You might be surprised at the outcome.

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