A major new initiative has been launched to take a “fresh approach” to tackling chronic traffic congestion in the city.
The ‘Galway Transport – Engage for a Liveable City’, initiated by Mayor Hildegarde Naughton, was officially launched on Monday evening and aims to engage the public in creating short-term solutions to traffic delays in Galway City.
The project is being headed by Chairman of West Region Engineers Ireland Padraic O’Donoghue and Brendan Mulligan of Engineers Ireland and hopes to banish Galway’s reputation as “gridlock city” by facilitating a new approach to alleviating traffic issues and acting as a bridge between the diverse requirements of the many stakeholders including Galway Chamber, Galway City Council and local transport providers.
Local businesswoman Mary Bennett, who was granted the Freedom of the City earlier this year, was MC at the launch of the initiative on Monday night. She said a proactive attitude from all residents of the city was essential for the success of the project.
“An efficient transport system is vital for the wellbeing of our citizens and to making our city an attractive location for tourism, industry and commerce. The current traffic congestion must be addressed and I am confident that if we work together with the ‘will do, can do’ attitude of Galwegians, we will see positive results,” she said.
The main focus of the initiative will be assessing the views of the public through on-the-ground surveys and a new Galway Transport Forum website, accessible at www.galwaytf.com. The site contains an online questionnaire, a live feed from AA Roadwatch and Galway City Council on traffic flow in the city, and an interactive forum for discussing local transport issues.
The surveys will be carried out until 21 January, with a report compiled and presented to Galway City Council in late February. The advisory group will then engage with the local authority to implement the most useful proposals in tackling traffic delays as a matter of urgency.
Addressing the meeting on Monday, Mayor Hildegarde Naughton said that the onus was on each citizen of Galway to contribute to solving the problem by sharing their experiences and ideas, adding that she was confident a solution could be found if the “goodwill was there”.
Both Mr O’Donoghue and Mr Mulligan are contributing their time to the project on a voluntary basis, as are members of the Civil Engineering Department at NUI Galway and a PhD student at the Digital Engineering Research Institute.
“For a considerable period of time, Engineers Ireland West Region has had a strong focus on its contribution to the development and sustained growth of the West of Ireland. It is critical that we maintain the character of our city and at the same time provide an effective and efficient transport system that is required in a modern city, so that Galway can continue to prosper. We, in the engineering profession, welcome the opportunity to participate in this initiative to promote greater public engagement in addressing sustainable transport in Galway City,” explained Mr Donoghue.