Galway Chamber’s decision to cut by half the number of journey times at the newly launched Park and Ride service from Galway Airport looks like the first of many nails in the coffin for this beleaguered service, which has failed to capture the imagination of the commuting public.
While Galway Chamber are to be congratulated for attempting to come up with novel solutions to Galway’s traffic woes, the service was just about effective in keeping the weeds off the tarmac at the Galway Airport site, at least in the interim, and never looked like a real runner from a Galway transport perspective.
The frequency of the service was good, but the price point, at €4 return, did not make it a viable alternative to the majority of those that it sought to entice early out of their cars, as parking in the city, closer to their work could be bought for much the same price, without the hassle of having to run to catch a bus.
However, our efforts to come up with solutions to our traffic problems mustn’t stop there, especially as work on the Bodkin Roundabout coming into the city is likely to cause major traffic delays between now and October when it is due for completion.
And, even when the Bodkin Roundabout project has been completed, Galway’s traffic issues are set to continue as the Kirwan Roundabout has now been taken out of the Bothar Na dTreabh corridor. Whether accurate or not, this is likely to be pinpointed as the culprit whenever traffic comes to a standstill at any point in the near future.
There are smaller, less expensive things we can do to aid traffic flow, many of which were outlined in Better Transport for Galway’s 2012 survey, which was presented to Galway City Council last year.
Among this reports recommendations are the aping of successful bus routes; more Garda involvement in traffic flows; more vigorous policing of yellow boxes and illegal parking; longer right turning lanes and additional lanes at various points; courtesy campaigns; traffic light sequence changes; car pooling incentive schemes; cycle lane improvement; on-street parking bans; and the end to pedestrian priority at traffic lights.
Many of these initiatives, which would require little or no spend, should be examined now, as we seek to deal with our traffic problems. Communication, as with everything, will prove key and it is encouraging to hear our new Galway City Manager talk about engaging with stakeholders.