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