Two cycle routes officially opened in Galway City but end metres away from each other and will remain disconnected until BusConnect project

— Galway Clinic connected to Galway City with footpaths and cycle tracks for the first time.

Two projects, the Doughiska Road South Cycle Network Scheme and Martin Junction Upgrade Scheme, were opened today in Galway City by the Mayor of the City of Galway, Councillor Eddie Hoare, and Minister for State at the Department of Transport, Jack Chambers.

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The two schemes nearly meet each other at the junction of the Doughiska Road and the Old Dublin Road but will remain unconnected until the Dublin Road BusConnects project joints the two projects up with a protected junction layout.

Galway City Council said that both projects were co-funded by the National Transport Authority and the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund. The former is via the Department of Transport while the latter is via the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

The latter funding is because junction redesign is to provide a link to future development of the Ardaun area, around the Galway Clinic, where up to 4,000 housing units are planned.

The Doughiska Road South project included cycle paths in the mainly residential area between the Old Dublin Road and Coast Road. It includes some very narrow cycle tracks, as shown below in the image supplied by Galway City Council.

The council highlighted that the works at the Martin Junction project saw the conversion of a busy roundabout to a four-arm signal-controlled junction, with the provision of cycle lanes, bus priority measures, footpaths, and associated landscaping.

The junction is the only access point from Galway City’s urban area to the Galway Clinic hospital but there were no crossings and no footpaths or cycle lanes approaching the roundabout which was set across a dual carriageway and included a long motorway-like slip turn on one side.

In a statement issued after the launch, Patricia Philbin, interim chief executive of Galway City Council, said: “These projects represent a significant investment in transport infrastructure in Galway. The Martin Junction Upgrade has allowed pedestrians and cyclists improved access on some of the key arterial routes in the city. The Doughiska Road Cycle Network Scheme has greatly enhanced facilities for residents and visitors in this area and is a glimpse into the future for other parts of Galway as we continue to progress our ambition of improving infrastructure for all road users.”

She added: “I want to commend the Galway City Council Active Travel Team who led the delivery of these projects, in partnership with their respective consultants and contractors, as well as thanking our funding partners, the National Transport Authority and Urban Regeneration and Development Fund.”

Minister Chambers said: “I am delighted to see another two fantastic Active Travel projects completed in Galway with the opening of the schemes at Doughiska Road and the Martin Roundabout Junction. These projects, delivered by Galway City Council and funded primarily by the Department of Transport through the NTA’s Active Travel Infrastructure Programme, will provide vital walking and cycling infrastructure to the local area which will benefit residents of and visitors to the area alike.”

He added: “The key linkages provided by the Doughiska Road South Cycle Network Scheme in particular will form part of the Galway City Cycle Network and ultimately contribute to a more liveable, healthier and vibrant city.”

Anne Graham, chief executive of the National Transport Authority said: “Connecting communities and giving people the option to choose sustainable travel for every day journeys is at the heart of what the NTA and our Local Authority partners are trying to achieve up and down the country.”

She added: “The opening of these two schemes in Galway City is a great example of that ambition and comes just days after the NTA announced that Galway City Council has been allocated more than €14m for active travel and sustainable travel projects in 2024. I look forward to seeing the results of the NTA’s and Galway City Council’s continued investment as we seek to improve the walking, wheeling and cycling experience for the city’s residents.”

Local cycling campaigns welcomed the improved connection especially for medical staff to be able to more safely cycle to the Galway Clinic.

Reg Turner, chairperson of the Galway Cycling Campaign, said: “The campaign welcomes the works carried out at the Martin Junction. The access and egress to the Galway Clinic site is greatly improved for vulnerable road users. Doctors and other hospital staff can now choose to cycle between hospitals.”

“The works carried out in Roscam are an improvement to active travel in the area. Hopefully, in the very near future we can see this joined up with much-needed active travel improvements on the coast road. We’d like loads more raised zebra crossings across the whole city.”

He added: “There are some very easy fixes across the city and we continue to call for the removal of all kissing gates.”

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