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Proposed N6 Galway City Ring Road approved by An Bord Pleanála

It’s hoped the road will reduce traffic congestion and improve journey times in and around Galway city.

The ring road (in red) will loop 18km around the north of Galway city.
The ring road (in red) will loop 18km around the north of Galway city.
Image: Arup via N6RingRoad.ie

AN BORD PLEANÁLA (ABP) has given the green light to the proposed N6 Galway City Ring Road, an 18km road aimed at alleviating traffic congestion in the city. 

It follows months of deliberations and an extensive oral hearing, which was held last year.

The €600 million road will run from the existing R336 Coast Road west of Bearna to tie-in with the existing N6 at Coolagh Junction.

A new bridge and viaduct will be constructed over the River Corrib, along with two tunnels on the east side of the city.

It’s hoped the road will reduce traffic congestion and improve journey times in and around Galway city, where motorists have experienced long delays for years.

The current proposal was approved by Government over three years ago. However, the prospect of building a bypass for Galway city has been discussed for more than two decades and has not been without its controversies.

In April, Noteworthy and The Journal examined the controversy surrounding the road and spoke to some of the owners of 54 residences which are subject to compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) and will have to be demolished in order to build the road.

Critics have said that the road will not solve congestion problems and will simply be a costly, “overkill” solution to the issue.

Despite the controversies, Galway County Council, Galway City Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland have welcomed the decision to approve the road. 

In a statement, the groups called it “welcome news for the thousand of commuters who travel to Galway on a daily basis”.

It is welcome news too for those using public transport who will see their journey times fall and for those who will be attracted to public transport because it can operate more efficiently and reliably.

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“The Ring Road will solve the traffic problems in Parkmore and Ballybrit and open up greater employment opportunities for Conamara, the rest of County Galway and the wider region,” they said.

They added that while the road brings “many benefits”, they are conscious of the significant impact the road will have on many property owners, especially the residential properties affected by it.

“Unfortunately, given the significant constraints for developing new transport infrastructure in the urban environment and the linear nature of the City, avoidance of properties was not possible. The council will continue to engage as constructively as possible with each and every land and property owner along the route,” they said.

Subject to legal challenges, and available funding, the project can now advance to the next stages which include land and property purchase, design, enabling works, the procurement of a contractor and the main construction phase.

Galway County Council added that whilst it is difficult to determine timelines at this stage due to possible legal challenges, it is estimated that the final detailed design and tendering will take “approximately 18 to 24 months”.

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Jane Moore

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