Galway West TD Noel Grealish has called for the solution to the city’s traffic woes to be taken out of the hands of Galway City Council.
Speaking after motorists on the eastern approaches to the city were held up in traffic delays for an hour and more on Monday morning, he said it was time for a different approach.
The Independent TD has demanded an urgent meeting involving the City Manager, the Garda Chief Superintendent, Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the Minister for Transport to address what he said was a crisis.
“This has to be taken in charge now by a higher authority than the City Council, which has failed to find a solution to the awful traffic problems.
“On Monday morning you had traffic approaching the junction at Briarhill backed up for miles, to the Maldron Hotel in Oranmore, and out past Glenascaul and Carnmore Cross.
“What should be a 10-minute hop from Oranmore became 60 minutes and more — and traffic was still backed up on the motorway at 11am, long after the morning rush.
“This is unacceptable, it’s costing the city jobs and it’s causing all kinds of problems for thousands of people trying to get to work.
“Traffic in Galway has gone beyond crisis point, it’s gone beyond a joke. We are talking here about the survival of Galway and the future of inward investment.
“We were all giving Galway City Council the opportunity to find a solution, but they obviously cannot find a solution to the traffic problems that are being experienced all over the city.”
Deputy Grealish said that the local authorities were putting all their eggs into the one basket with the N6, the proposed bypass road and bridge over the River Corrib.
“But that is not the solution to Galway’s traffic woes. If it’s built it will probably help — IF it’s built — but that’s still 10-15 years away. We need solutions now and they are just not coming.
“I have written to the City Manager, the Garda Superintendent, TII and the Minister demanding an immediate meeting to address this problem in a different way than has been done up to now,” added Deputy Grealish.