Roundabouts across the City were described as “an absolute shambles” by a Councillor at Monday night’s meeting of Galway City Council.
Fianna Fáil Councillor Ollie Crowe was one of a number of councillors who asked for an update on the upkeep of city roundabouts. “We were given a commitment six months ago on this and the roundabouts are a shambles,” said Cllr Crowe. Fine Gael Councillor Padraig Conneely described the roundabouts as “unfriendly and unwelcoming. The City has never had as many people coming into it and the roundabouts are horrendous.” He asked for an update on the grass cutting and the upkeep of the roundabouts. Independent Cllr Declan McDonnell said that a JCB is now needed at the Martin Roundabout at the Clinic. He questioned if the roundabouts would be ready for the Galway Races. Sinn Féin Cllr Mark Lohan complimented the work that began recently but asked why a private contractor was brought in, “Why can’t we do it ourselves?” “When you drive around the country you see how other roundabouts are kept,” said Cllr Terry O’Flaherty, “They are in immaculate condition.” Chief Executive Brendan McGrath said that he shared the frustration of Councillors but said it is “not a shambles”. He stated that the equipment that was being used dated back to 2002 and there was no investment in it since then. “We have now invested in it and we should begin to see results of this. We were trying to do more and more with less and less. The council has taken on more open space,” he said. The Chief Executive outlined that with the health and safety specifications required for high speed roundabouts, the council were unable to comply with the new requirements. He added that what is being done, outsourcing the work, has been done with the understanding of staff. Director of Services, Tom Connell presented a detailed report to Councillors at Monday’s meeting on grass cutting and maintenance across the City. “The grass cutting was scheduled to commence on 3 July but due to inclement weather was rescheduled to the 4 July staring with the Browne and Skerrit roundabout and approach roads,” he added. Landscaping work began on Monday night, 10 July.
Regarding the sponsorship of roundabouts, Mr Connell stated that, following public advertisement, two parties have expressed an interest in sponsoring city roundabouts.