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Railway now offers only realistic and immediate solution to Claregalway's traffic problems

Press Release - Saturday 18th September 2004


The Western Rail Corridor now offers the only immediate and realistic prospect of relief from the growing traffic nightmare on the N17 and particularly in the village of Claregalway, the West on Track campaign has said in a statement. This follows the visit by Transport Minister Séamus Brennan to the village on Friday where he found himself delayed by more than half an hour in bumper to bumper traffic.

Speaking to reporters Mr. Brennan had said that it would take at least three years before a by-pass could be put in place and that such a development could delay by several years any progress on a proposed motorway between Tuam and Galway, via Athenry. During his visit Mr. Brennan was told that there are now 27,000 vehicles a day passing through the village on the N17, the main route between Sligo and Galway.

A spokesman for West on Track in Galway said that the re-opening of the railway between Claremorris, Tuam and Galway offered a simple, economic and realistic way of relieving the traffic chaos in the area. "For the cost of roughly one and a half miles of motorway the entire line between Tuam and Athenry could be re-opened within a year," said the spokesman. "Much of the traffic is sourced from the Claremorris - Tuam area and consists of people going to work in Galway on a daily basis. It is plainly ridiculous that this situation be allowed to continue within earshot of a railway which is lying redundant and which can be restored in a relatively short time."

The spokesman pointed out that West on Track was supportive of road improvements and development along the whole of the Western Corridor but noted that these would take many years to come on stream, while the railway could be operational very quickly.

"We are confident that the recommendations of the Working Group on the Western Rail Corridor which will be presented to the Minister later this year will bring good news both to the hard-pressed residents of the area and to frustrated commuters into Galway," he said.

Angry residents of the area had pointed out to Minister Brennan that they often have to wait up to 15 minutes in order to gain access to the road directly outside their front door. In response the Minister said that although he sympathised with their difficulties there was no prospect of the proposed by-pass going ahead in the short term.








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