Traffic Management Plan

Chamber outlines Traffic Plan deficiencies to Councillors

 

Gort Chamber of Commerce last week apprised the Loughrea Electoral Area Councillors of the deficiencies in the implementation of Gort Traffic Management Plan, in a move to engage the entire County Council in solving the perceived inadequacies of the towns public services.

 

The Chambers contention, reflected the towns negative reaction to the Plan.

 

Back at the public display of the Draft Plan form December 2005 to January 2006, the period for inspection was seen as wrong and unsuitable for the towns business people.

 

For thirteen days the County Councils officers were not open to the public and that severe inconvenience prevented many business people from studying the play.

 

Now, at the implementation of the Plan, the Chamber noted the installation of double yellow lines in streets, disallowing street parking yet not providing a public car park.

 

The Chambers view lays the blame squarely on the County Council: The Council has neglected its duty to purchase land and develop a car park close to the town centre.

 

The Chambers recollection of the Draft Plan was that there were to be three public car parks.  In the Plan adopted in mid-2006, not one of these proposed car parks was included.

 

The Chambers case represented the local view that damage had already been inflected on businesses, by the Plans omissions.

 

In view of the fact that only one submission had been lodged regarding the Draft Plan, the Chamber could not understand why the three car parks were removed from it.

 

As well as the three car parks, the towns people expected that the adopted Plan would contain a pay-and-display system for the town.

 

The Chamber criticised the County Councils proposal that cars be parked along the street in Church Street, a proposal that presented difficulties for the trader there.

 

Another contentious issue was the location and provision of loading bays at locations in Crowe Street, The Square, Church Street and the Railway Road Bridge Street area.

 

The Chamber of Commerce views were presented by John Moylan (Chairperson) and Frank Murray to the County Councillors at the Councils Loughrea Office on Thursday.

 

The County Councillors in attendance were Cllrs. Michael Fahy, Bridie Willers, Peter Feeney (chairman, Loughrea Area Councillors), Pat Hynes, Michael Regan and Michael Moigie Maher.

Jim Cullen, Director, Water Services, Galway County Council and also attended.

 

The Chamber of Commerce representatives painted a grim picture of the Councils slowness in improving Gorts infrastructure, in particular, in implementing the proposed Gort Regional Water Supply Scheme.

 

The stagnation of Gorts potential was seen to correspond to the week pressure and unsavoury colour in the towns public water supply.

 

The fact that Gort Fire Brigade has to bring a mobile water supply to fires indicated the enormity of the towns neglect.

 

To compound the issue of neglect, they referred to the problem of public toilets.

 

Councillor Bridie Willers pointed out that the Council has not made provision for public toilets.  She stressed that she would try to have them included in the estimates.

 

Other local issues brought to the attention of the County Councillors included the improvement of the towns streets and footpaths, grass-cutting, the unfinished Urban Village Renewal Scheme, the sewerage treatment plant and the smell in the town.

 

 

Connacht Tribune, Friday November 18th 2007

 

Green light for new Gort Traffic Plan despite local objections

 

It was confirmed this week that Gort Traffic Management Plan will be implemented in full as from February 2008.

 

The submissions and changes to the Plan, which during autumn were made to Galway County Council by Gort business interests and local public representatives, have failed to lead to alterations to the terms of the adopted Plan.

 

The Auto Track Analysis of Gorts traffic supports the Councils position on the Plans implementation.

 

The expected re-opening of Gort Railway Station in mid-2008 is a significant factor in the County Councils refusal to compromise on the Plans imposition of parking restrictions in the area of Station Road and the N66.  The council considers that the area should not be busy at all times of the day and, and for that reason, deliveries should be managed at off-periods of the day.

 

Discussions are ongoing in relation to the acquisition of a site for a public car park in the town.  The land has not yet been acquired by the County Council.

 

Councillor Bridie Willers, commenting yesterday on the implementation of Gort Traffic Management Plan, said: I have made representations and have held discussions with the Road Design Section of the Council in an effort to effect compromises for the benefit of traders in Crowe Street, Railway Road and Bridge Street and Georges Street.

 

The Council has valid bases for the terms of the Plan and I have to take the Councils word that they will be for the best.

However, if there are problems arising in the implementation, the Council will revisit the Plan.

 

At the moment, Councillor Willers continued, theres loads of car-parking space in Church Street and that will suffice until the new public car park is available.

 

Connacht Tribune, Friday November 2nd 2007

County Council rules out any u-turn on traffic plan

Galway County Council has rejected proposals from Gort business people in relation to Gort Traffic Management Plan, and indicated that it is not for-turning on the measures set out in the adopted Plan.

The implementation of the Plan in Gort caused uproar in Gort, when the recent installation of double yellow lines on the streets brought home to the business people the effects of the new by-laws being put in place.

The deputation of Gort business people, who waited on the Council's Road Design Engineers to voice their - objections, set out their reasons for objecting and proposed alteratives.

The business people's concerns centred on loading bays for their premises.

They saw the placement of the double yellow lines as the cause of preventing customers from parking near their premises.

They had the evidence of traditional customers in particular being inconvenienced and of the location of their business being inconvenienced and of the location of their business being substantially diminished in value.

Martin Lavelle, Senior - Engineer in the Road Design Section of Galway County Council, in a letter, a copy of which was sent to particular business people in the town, rejects their arguments and alternatives proposed.

The proposal of relocation to The Square at the loading bay laid down in the Traffic Management Plan for Georges Street, is rejected on the grounds the HGV's and heavily laden lorries would affect the Square.

The compromise offered in respect of the area of Station Road and the N66 was rejected out of hand.

County Councillor Bridie Willers said this week "I am very disappointed that the issues raised by the particular business people who are rate payers have been ignored by the Council".

"Todate, the Council has not acquired a public car park, although I understand that negotiations are taking place.  Until such a car park is acquired, Gort Traffic Management Plan cannot be implemented in full". 

 

Connacht Tribune, Friday September 21st 2007

Gort Traffic Management Plan comes under the spotlight

A County Councillor this week revealed that she would raise the issue of Gort Traffic Management Plan at the full meeting of Galway County Council next Monday, September 24.

Councillor Bridie Willers, who was commenting on the implementation of Gort Traffic Management Plan and the local opposition to aspects of the Plan, said "Council officials will have to realise that its the business people of Gort who pay high commercial rates and water rates and get very little in return".

"Naturally, Gort business people are very angry at the attitude of Galway County Council Roads Section".

They feel that their legitimate concerns are being ignored and that a traffic plan is being railroaded through regardless of what they think", said Councillor Willers.

The implementation of the Plan has angered Gort's towns people who object to particular aspects of the Plan.

The Plan adopted by the County councillors is considered by the town's business people to be a severe drawback to business; something the business people would not have agreed to had they known beforehand.

The Plan's contentious aspects are the double yellow lines in the street in front of business premises; the allocation of loading bays for use by the businesses, and the alternative provision for parking at a public car park, which does not exist.

Local business people who recently brought their concerns to the County Council in relation to these issues, are angry at the Council's apparent insensitivity to their points raised.

To compound their dissatisfaction, the County Council last week wrote a letter to local business people laying down the law.

The letter, from Mr. Martin Lavelle, Roads Engineer, declared that no changes would be made to the Gort Traffic Management Plan.

Gort business people consider that the Plan is being forced upon the town.

They do not accept the Councils argument the adequate notice was given about the Plan prior to its adoption.

They do not accept that is was sufficient notification to put the Draft Plan on public display, without notifying the town's businesses individally of the Draft Plan's location.

They consider they had a right to be individually notified about a matter material to their business.

The implementation of the Plan has come as a major shock also to the new businesses that have set up in the town since the Plan was devised three years ago.

The issue of the allocation of loading bays has angered many business people.  Some business people do not want to have a loading bay outside their premises.

At the Square, Gort, where there are many business premises, the plan does not provide for loading bays and that is a big concern for these businesses.

In George's Street, where there are double yellow lines in the street, the business people require loading bays outside their premises.  The Council have met this requirement in the Plan and have provided loading bays - on the opposite side of the street.

"It is not acceptable". said Councillor Willers, "for (Council) officials to tell them that there is a loading bay across the street.  We are talking about a very busy National Route, where safety issues come into play".

The alternative to parking on the street in Gort is parking in a public car park.

"With double yellow lines in place, the passing trade in Gort will be affected adversely, as people will be reluctant to pull in and park on a double yellow line", continued Councillor Willers.

The provision of a public car park is, however, only at the proposal stage.  Effectively, Gort's passing trade is thus being dealt a serious blow.

"People cannot understand why a public car park was not acquired before Galway County Council made any attempt to implement their Plan", said Councillor Willers.

"This has not happened and officials involved have only now become involved in discussions to acquire a car park which was a prerequisite of the Plan", she said.

Councillor Willers revealed that the Loughrea Electoral Area Councillors, at their meeting on Wednesday, discussed the implementation of Gort Traffic Management Plan.

"Since the meeting, many of the business people had received letters from Martin Lavelle, Roads Engineer, saying that there would be no change to the Plan.

This was sent our despite the request from the meeting of the Area Councillors that officials would meet a delegation from the Gort business community", she said.

 

Connacht Tribune, Friday September 7th 2007

Gort Triffic Plan

The County Councillors of the Loughrea Electoral Area will, at their meeting in Loughrea next week, discuss the urgent issues surrounding the implementation of the Gort Traffic Management Plan.

The dominant issue, in the current introduction of double and single yellow lines on the streets outside shops and homes, is the denial of loading/unloading facilities at the Railway Road/Bridge Street junction.  It does not make sense for the County Council to implement those terms of the Gort Traffic Management Plan that deny the businesses at Railway Road/Bridge Street junction any loading/unloading times.

 

Connacht Tribune, Friday August 31st 2007

Traffic Management Plan causes  headaches for Gort residents

 

The implementation of the Gort Traffic Management Plan, now underway and introducing double and single yellow lines to the streets, is causing upset to the townspeople who have been accustomed to unrestricted parking near their homes or businesses.

The businesses near the junction of Bridge Street and Railway Road are particularly affected by the placing of double yellow lines there.

The yellow lines are jusified as this is a busy junction and, with the proposed development of Gort Railway Station and the proposed opening of the Western Railway Corridor, is expected to get much busier.

Nevertheless, the loading and unloading of goods for the shops at the Railway Road junction are ruled out unfairly by the placement of double yellow lines on the roads there.

Under the Traffic Management Plan, Gort's pedestrian crossing is being moved nearer to the bridge.

Some businesses in Crowe Street are also affected by the double yellow lines in respect of prohibiting loading and unloading goods.

The reality of seeing the yellow lines in the streets comes as a shock to the many townspeople, who a few years ago became aware that the Traffic Management Plan was being complied.

The proposals for the Plan were made public at that time.

Submissions were made to Galway County Council by local individuals and Gort Chamber of Commerce.

Now however, other local people realise that they too might have made submissions - had they been aware.

Residents of the town have for generations been able to park their vehices outside their homes.  Current residents have a case for the continuation in some form of that facility.

The granting of parking permits to the residents of each street, permitting parking somewhere along that street, is a solution.  The dowside is that residents may not always see their own vehicle from their home.