Retailers and council clash over new city centre traffic system

By Richard Hartmann

Opinion is divided on the accessibility of a new one-way traffic system in Galway city centre.

While Galway City Council claim that feedback from businesses and the public has been positive, Galway Pulse has spoken to retailers in the area who are not happy with the new system.

Margret Madden of Madden’s Florists on Flood Street said there was no consultation.

“Someone came around from the council about six months ago and said they were considering changes. The next thing we heard about it was a flyer through the door on a Wednesday to say it was all changing the next weekend” Mrs. Madden said.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Slevin

On February 3rd, Galway City Council announced across their online platforms that starting the following Sunday at 6pm, the one-way traffic system in the Flood Street, Middle Street, Cross Street and St. Augustine Street area was to be reversed.

“My customers who used to be able to pull up outside the door for pick-ups will now have to drive all the way down and around by Merchants Road, which could add 20 minutes to their journey on a busy day,” Mrs. Madden also added.

A Galway City spokesperson said:

“The measures were developed following proposals from businesses in the area as part of the city mobility project in 2020 and we continued to engage with the representative bodies throughout the implementation process”.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Slevin

Shane O’Beirne, from Thomas Woodberrys Wines on Middle Street, did not understand the reasoning behind the change.

“We heard through the grapevine that it was coming, but the only official notice was a flyer through the door a few days before it came in” he said.

Former Mayor, Niall McNelis, who also has a business at Spanish Arch said the plan is to reduce driving around the city centre.

“Nobody should be driving their car into the city centre anymore. There are plenty of spaces in the multi-story car parks. The plan is to turn the loading bays into parklets after 6pm, where businesses put out tables and chairs.” Mr. McNelis said.

It remains to be seen if the local retailers will support the council with this plan, but these retailers feel that the council are riding roughshod over them and that they are not being consulted on plans to radically change the nature of the city centre.

Check out other Galway related news at, including the possible extension of parking restrictions in Salthill

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