Study on Galway light rail to take place next year

By Darren McDonagh

A feasibility study into a light rail system for Galway is likely to take place next year.

That’s according to Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan who spoke in a pre-recorded message during a webinar on the issue of Galway transport infrastructure.

Mr Ryan acknowledged concerns that Galway’s population density is not big enough for a light rail system, but said that if the infrastructure is provided then “density will build around it”.

The Green Party leader referred to this as “transport-orientated development”, which he said is “the key to what we need to do next as a zero carbon solution in all our cities”.

The online panel discussion, which was attended by 200 people, was hosted by the GLUAS Very Light Rail Committee.

Calls for the introduction of a light rail system have been ongoing for almost two decades both as a solution to Galway’s traffic problem, and as a means to ensure environmentally-friendly transport across the City.

The feasibility study will take place as part of the Government’s planned Galway Transport Strategy which is due to get underway next year.

Mr Ryan also made reference to other developments that will be part of the Galway Transport Strategy such as a twin track from Athenry to Ceannt Station, upgrades to Oranmore Station, as well as Greenway cycling routes that have been “long promised but not delivered”.

“Those greenways aren’t just for tourists, and are not primarily for tourists, they’re for local people to help us move around and turn the City into a stunning cycling location,” he said.

The Minister also referred to the development of bus networks which he said is critical “before we even consider what needs to be done on the road side”.

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