Update on Light Rail proposal for Galway: the official response outlined below to a simple request to look at the operation of light rail in a number of suitable cities in France will give you an indication of how difficult it is to get management to look at any solution to Galway’s Traffic Congestion other than more roads!
Motion dated the 26th October 2015 and tabled by Cllr Catherine Connolly for the City Council Meeting on Monday the 2nd November as follows:
‘That as part of an integrated solution to traffic congestion in Galway that this Council arrange for an urgent delegation to go to France and more particularly to a number of comparable or suitable Towns/Cities to see at first hand the operation of a light rail system’
‘While it is a matter for the elected Council to determine whether or not to arrange for delegations, the proposal from Cllr Connolly is premature, in advance of any recommendation as to the most appropriate from of mass transportation for Galway city. This issue is being addressed as an element of an Integrated Transport Management Programme (ITMO) which will deliver an evidence-based recommendation , taking account of all relevant factors governing the transportation requirements of all who live in, work in and visit the city. It is expected that the output from the ITMP will be presented to the Transportation SPC in the first instance in January 2016’
This response is utterly disingenuous given that City Council Management and the Consultants employed on their behalf have already ruled out light rail both at private and public meetings with City Councillors on the basis that it is too expensive and that Galway is too small.
Press Release 10th November- Light Rail System
Councillor Connolly says decision by City Council Management to remove her motion on sending a delegation to France to look at the operation of light rail in a number of Cities beggars belief.
Cllr Connolly said she tabled the motion for the last City Council meeting asking for the City Councillors to agree that a delegation be sent to a number of French Cities to familiarize themselves with light rail.
The Director of Services for Transport however in a written response which allowed him remove the motion from the agenda set out that it was premature to seek to send such a delegation in advance of any recommendations as to the most appropriate from of mass transportation for Galway City. Further he said that the issue is being addressed as an element of the Integrated Transport Management Programme (ITMP) which will present a report to the Transportation SPC in January 2016.
Councillor Connolly said this reply simply beggars belief given that the Consultants employed to progress the N6 transport project have already confirmed at a public meeting with Councillors that they have ruled out light rail as an option and are intent on pursuing a road option.
Further for management to now say that looking at light rail in other countries is premature while at the same time saying that a report will come back in January which will include light rail without any examination of its operation in other countries and having already decided that it is not an option is utterly disingenuous.
Councillor Connolly said she is not going to accept such a reply and will be re-submitting her motion and asking for all Councillors to sign it so that at the very least Councillors and Officials will have the benefit of seeing how light rail operates.
Councillor Connolly said the cost of sending a delegation to appropriate French Cities pales into insignificance when compared to the costs of the new sixteen and half kilometre road at €30 million euro a kilometre ( at a conservative estimate) and the 20 million euro already wasted on an outer bypass that has now gone off the agenda .
Once again she said to proceed with such a project without looking at a cheaper, more effective and more sustainable solution like light rail beggars belief and both City and County Council Management must be held to account by Councillors on behalf of the people of Galway.