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[Article] Funding for Seamus Quirke Road/Work Starts in June

  • 24-02-2010 3:10pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,110 ✭✭✭ KevR


    http://www.galwaynews.ie/11435-funding-quirke-road-means-work-starts-june
    Funding for Quirke Road means work starts in June

    February 23, 2010 - 12:19pm
    Good news given to councillors


    BY ENDA CUNNINGHAM

    WORK on the long-awaited widening of Seamus Quirke Road to a four-lane carriageway is set to commence in June, after Galway City Council received a further €2m in funding from the Government yesterday (Monday).

    Councillors were given the good news at a local authority meeting last night that the Department of Transport has allocated €3.725million to the City Council under Regional Roads Grants.

    Of this, €2m is specifically earmarked for the Seamus Quirke Road project, which is estimated to cost a total of €12m to €14m.

    Director of Services for Transportation and Infrastructure Ciarán Hayes told councillors: “We are going to tender for Seamus Quirke Road with a view to being on site in June. There will be a Traffic Management Plan in place, and it will provide a big improvement to transport in the west of the city.

    Last year, the Government withdrew funding for the project as part of their swingeing budgetary cuts, but it was placed ‘back on the table’ after the Council successfully applied for another €2m in funding from the BMW Regional Assembly.

    The road project – which was given the final approval by An Bórd Pleanála in 2002 – involves the widening of the road to dual carriageway status along a 1.6km stretch from the roundabout at Fort Lorenzo on the Bishop O’Donnell Road, through the Seamus Quirke Road and on to the Corrib Park roundabout.

    It will allow for bus priority lanes through the Westside.

    Meanwhile, €300,000 was allocated for improvement works on the Wolfe Tone Bridge; €50,000 for improvements to the junction of the Clybaun Road and Rahoon Road; €25,000 for the junction of Maunsells Road with Shantalla Road; €25,000 for a pedestrian crossing at Knocknacarra Cross and €20,000 for improvements on the Castle Park Road.

    It's difficult to believe that this will actually happen given all the false promises we have had over the past decade. I won't get too excited until I see machinery on-site and at work.

    Not that I'm anti-public transport or anti-bus lanes but I don't see the point of having bus lanes on this stretch with the bus service that's currently in operation.

    Rahoon bound buses use the full length of the road (Westbound). Buses travelling from Rahoon to the City Centre only use the road (Eastbound) as far as the traffic lights at Glen Dara where it turns off and uses part of Circular Road and Siobhan McKenna road. City Direct services turn off onto the Rahoon road just a few metres after the Glen Dara lights. No buses currently use the Seamus Quirke road (Eastbound) between Glen Dara traffic lights and Browne roundabout. Surely they are not serious about having a bus lane on there?

    Anyone know what the frequency of buses is? Can't be more frequent than every 15 mins. If it was 2 lanes in each direction then the few buses that use this road would also see reduced jounrney times. I really don't see how a bus lane will be of any real benefit on the Seamus Quirke road with the current bus service.


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Comments

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 62,234 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Is there not enough land reserved for it to be a proper DC rather than another bloody S4? Had to do Home->Carna->Spiddal->NUIG->Home today and remembered how much I hate that as an idea for roads.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,200 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    This will make no difference for traffic [no capacity increase] but will be one of the biggest things to happen to public transport in Galway. The #5 bus will actually be a reasonable way to get into town at rush hour.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 ✭✭✭ KevR


    MYOB wrote: »
    Is there not enough land reserved for it to be a proper DC rather than another bloody S4? Had to do Home->Carna->Spiddal->NUIG->Home today and remembered how much I hate that as an idea for roads.
    As far as I know it will have a concrete median barrier. The article I posted is badly written because at the beginning of the article the upgrade is described as "four lane carriageway" while further down in the article it is described as "dual carriageway". It can't be both.
    This will make no difference for traffic [no capacity increase] but will be one of the biggest things to happen to public transport in Galway. The #5 bus will actually be a reasonable way to get into town at rush hour.

    I'm not sure if journeys towards the City Centre will see huge improvements - both Bus Eireann or City Direct use only a bit of this road for their journeys into town from Rahoon and Knocknacarra. Bus Eireann use the full stretch for services towards Rahoon from the City Centre; City Direct only use a bit of it for Knocknacarra to town.

    I don't think these bus lanes are justified with the current routes and bus frequencies. How many people take buses along there everyday? Maybe 1,000? Apart from at peak-times there is no demand and the buses are running near empty. Compare that to in excess of 30,000 people who travel this road not in a bus.

    Definitely Eastbound traffic lights at Glen Dara to Browne roundabout should be 2 lanes for all traffic and no bus lane because no buses currently use that section. If bus routes change in future then they can change that section to 1 bus lane + 1 traffic lane.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,200 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    I agree that two lanes for traffic would be way better, but in rush hour, Bus Eireann will save probably about 15 minutes by being able to bypass the jam. However, I'd say there will be massive abuse of the bus lanes by drivers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 ✭✭✭ KevR


    Buses might save 15 mins at rush hour with the full bus lane when compared to the current setup of 1 lane in each direction for all traffic but they would still make a decent time saving if it was 2 lanes in each direction for all traffic.

    I wonder what the situation will be with the bus lane through junctions. Will it end a short distance before the junction to allow for right turning lanes? Surely it won't continue straight through..


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,552 ✭✭✭ munchkin_utd


    KevR wrote: »
    I don't think these bus lanes are justified with the current routes and bus frequencies. How many people take buses along there everyday? Maybe 1,000? Apart from at peak-times there is no demand and the buses are running near empty. Compare that to in excess of 30,000 people who travel this road not in a bus.
    .
    Indeed. The lack of people using the busses though has to be put in the context of the utter crapness of the service.

    Its a chicken and egg problem.
    If the bus service is crap it will only be used as a last resort. Seriously. Even as a student I always took a taxi in Galway over a bus as you never could figure out what the story was with the busses, routewise and whatnot, and thats ignoring any reliability issues. And standing in the rain for a bus in the hope that is does go from your stop, but may equally as validly go from somewhere near by, is not a wise thing if you want to avoid catching pneumonia!!! (in Renmore at least this is the case)

    If the busses were running to some sort of comprehendable system and reliable journey times then you'd have more people using them and there would be a need for proper bus lanes etc.

    There has been a strategic report into busses in galway that I saw on the city council website but it seems that nothing has been done yet to improve the lot of the galway bus commuter (or has anyone some good news there that I missed?)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 ✭✭✭ KevR


    The thing about the Rahoon bus service is that the terminus in Rahoon is actually walking distance to town. I live near to the terminus of the Rahoon route and have probably only taken the bus into town a couple of times in my whole entire life. It's only a 20-25 minute walk into town (depending on how fast you walk). It's pointless walking 3-4 mins to the bus stop, waiting for the bus (could be anything in between a few mins of a wait and a wait of over 25 mins) and then it takes the bus another 15/20 mins to get into town because of the indirect route it takes, all the stops and traffic. If you're lucky the bus could get you into town in 20/25 mins, if you're unlucky it could take 45/50 mins. You'd be there and back walking!

    Bus lane might serve a better purpose if the buses continued onto Knocknacarra (an area of Knocknacarra which doesn't have a bus service at present).


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,701 ✭✭✭ ?Cee?view


    I presume as it seems with all bus lanes in Galway, this will be a 24 hour bus lane? If it is, that's madness. I don't think there's any service after 10 or 11 pm.

    Are there any proposals to extend the dual carriagway by making the Western Distributor Road dual carraigeway. Other than one small housing estate (Binn Sinn I think) nothing much would be impacted if a bit more space was taken for such a road as there are very wide grass margins.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,200 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    Most if not all of the Western Distributor has grass verges wide enough for dualling, so no problems there. I dont think it will need it anytime soon though TBH.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 ✭✭✭ KevR


    churchview wrote: »
    I presume as it seems with all bus lanes in Galway, this will be a 24 hour bus lane? If it is, that's madness. I don't think there's any service after 10 or 11 pm.

    Agreed!


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    There is no traffic either so there is no need for an extra lane at night :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 ✭✭✭ KevR


    Either this is incredibly lazy journalism or this project has been scaled down quite a bit.

    Originally it was supposed to be 2+2 DC (with concrete median; meaning the speed limit could possibly have went up to 60kmh), improved signalised junctions and a pedestrian bridge near the Sacred Heart church. The idea was that the signalised junction at Aldi would have no pedestrian sequences because of the nearby footbridge.

    As the project stands now, the pedestrian footbridge seems to have been forgotten about so the traffic light junction at Aldi will have to have a pedestrian sequence. The 2 extra lanes will be bus lanes so the upgrade won't have a huge impact for the majority of people who use this road. Some reports mention it's going to be DC, and other reports say it will be 4 lane single carriageway - no median means definitely a 50kmh speed limit there forever.

    This upgrade has been talked about and hyped up for many years but it's now going to be a huge fucking let down by the looks of it. :mad:


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    http://www.galwaynews.ie/11920-funding-clears-way-june-start-quirke-road-upgrade
    The Council now has secured a total of €6.5m and can plough ahead with the plans, including four signalised pedestrian crossings at the Circular Road, Rahoon Road, Dunnes Stores and Aldi junctions.

    These are all within half a mile of each other :eek: 2 of them already have pedestrian crossings.

    I take it the other two are getting new pedestrian crossing leading to the existing pedestrian crossings nearby but after the shyte that Galway made of the Moneen and Renmore Road upgrades last year I would not trust them an inch :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 ✭✭✭ KevR


    Galway City Council have no imagination - roundabouts everywhere and not a single pedestrian bridge in the whole city.

    Hopefully they will at least link the various sets of lights on BOD/SQ Road together so that you get a green wave when driving along at normal driving speed.

    Ideally the lights on BOD/SQ Road would also be linked to the Quincentennial Bridge/Newcastle Road lights and the lights at the top of Threadneedle Road. Highly unlikely though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,552 ✭✭✭ munchkin_utd


    KevR wrote: »
    Galway City Council have no imagination - roundabouts everywhere and not a single pedestrian bridge in the whole city.
    Indeed.
    Its a wonder that the city council dont sell wee souvenir model roundabouts to the tourists to honour the city's passion for the things!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,200 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    ABP scaled back the project quite a bit IIRC.

    TBH this upgrade is a massive red herring. Although the bus lanes will make a big difference there is absolutely no increase in capacity for cars and the current jams will remain just as bad as they are.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Although the bus lanes will make a big difference there is absolutely no increase in capacity for cars and the current jams will remain just as bad as they are.

    There is a massive increase in Bicycle capacity too with offline cycle lanes on both sides rather than a main carriageway reservation. This will double the width of the pavement on the south side of the road ( city side).


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 ✭✭✭ KevR


    With that new cycle lane there will be a cycle lane/path all the way from Ballybrit to the Ballymoneen/Western Distributor roundabout (almost Barna basically).

    Niall O'Brolochain was harping on about how a bus lane on the Dock Road and a cycle lane from Barna to Oranmore would really help to ease congestion, we shall soon see how much the 8.4km Ballybrit-Ballymoneen cycle lane eases congestion. The bulk of the cycle lane already exists and there is huge levels of congestion in spite of it.......

    I'm not against cycle/bus lanes but I can't stand when people claim that an odd cycle/bus lane here or there will magically solve the traffic problems that we have.


  • Registered Users Posts: 29 crusheenman


    Does anyone know if this job is going begin soon?? Surly they should be starting soon... badly needed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,701 ✭✭✭ ?Cee?view


    Does anyone know if this job is going begin soon?? Surly they should be starting soon... badly needed.

    Yes an upgrade for cars is definitely needed, but as currently apparently planned, it'd be much better if this scheme was cancelled.

    We're going to have likely at least two years of chaos, after which we'll still have one driving lane in each direction! What's the point?

    We'll have a bus lane (probably 24 hour, but where are the 24 hour busses?), very few busses, and a cycle lane that noone, especially the cyclists, seem happy with.

    Yet again a complete joke, where a good plan has been scuppered by the Greens and their fellow fanatics. :rolleyes:


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    churchview wrote: »
    We'll have a bus lane (probably 24 hour, but where are the 24 hour busses?), very few busses, and a cycle lane that noone, especially the cyclists, seem happy with.

    Yet again a complete joke, where a good plan has been scuppered by the Greens and their fellow fanatics. :rolleyes:

    The road should be either

    1. extra wide bus lane so cyclists and buses can both use it + 1 car traffic lane ( sub optimal)

    2. normal bus lane normal cycle lane inside that and normal car lane ( sub optimal)

    3. Normal Bus Lane 8am to 10am and 5pm-7pm ONLY and normal car lane widening to two car lanes outside the rush hour + 24 hour cycle lanes inside ( OPTIMAL) . There is no need for a dedicated bus lane outside those times in that part of Galway. Let the cars plan their movements outside the rush hour by all means .

    All you have now is gob****e City planners and engineers and greens and green sounding labour gob****es meddling to no useful purpose and giving us gridlock and a turd at the end of it.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,913 ✭✭✭ galwaycyclist


    There is a story about the ongoing mess here

    City Council to spend €6 million to slow down City buses
    http://www.galwaycycling.org/city-council-to-spend-e6-million-to-slow-down-city-buses/

    If the design goes ahead as planned the cyclists will still use the bus lanes which means that at times of traffic congestion public transport will be moving at cycling speed.

    More city council executive tomfoolery


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    If the design goes ahead as planned the cyclists will still use the bus lanes which means that at times of traffic congestion public transport will be moving at cycling speed.

    This road went through an bord pleanala at widths that allowed cyclists to share the 'extra wide' bus lane and now the council have redesigned the road without telling anybody about it.

    The city engineer should be brought before an bord pleanala for being in gross contempt of the proper planning process ....can they lock him up while they are at it ????


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,913 ✭✭✭ galwaycyclist


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    This road went through an bord pleanala at widths that allowed cyclists to share the 'extra wide' bus lane and now the council have redesigned the road without telling anybody about it.

    Ok without rehashing the entire 8 year row it is all down to interpretation. In 2002, Joe Tansey went before a public Bord Pleanala hearing and stated that it was his intent that cyclists dismount and become pedestrians at every junction when the road was finished (I'm not making this up).

    Bord Pleanala said no to this and issued an instruction in their decision that the "cycle lanes" would be on-road at the junctions. Now in 2010 AD, Joe Tansey is arguing that the roundabouts junctions at either end are not part of the scheme so he is still free to impose a requirement that cyclists will become pedestrians at either end of the road. Unfortunately An Bord Pleanala did not specify any particular treatment between the junctions in the schedule to their decision. However, the ABP inpector who conducted the hearing set out in his report that there were a range of options including on-road cycle-lanes and shared bus lanes. There was a design produced at one point (2007) that showed shared bus lanes and was viewed as acceptable by cycling interests.

    Despite this, Joe Tansey is insisting that the absence of other specified treatments in the ABP schedule means that he is "required" to impose the remaining aspects of his 2002 design. However the corollory of this logic is

    A) They would not be able to provide bus lanes as specified by the city development plan - as these are not mentioned in the ABP decision.
    B) That they would have to build a pedestrian bridge at the Westside shopping centre - as taking this out is not mentioned in the ABP decision.

    So Mr. Tansey appears to reinterpret the 2002 Bord Pleanála decision as and how it suits him.

    Now folks the real issue is this. In 2010, in Western Europe, we have a head of a city transportation unit who thinks he can build city centre streets around the university (and incidentally the largest city employer) on the basis that cyclists will become pedestrians and that he is free to seek and spend both state and eu funds on that basis.

    Does anyone here really, really, think that was going to fly?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob



    Does anyone here really, really, think that was going to fly?

    The city officials have a long history of making this sort of non consultation up. I would complain to the EU seeing as I am sure the EU is paying for some of this.

    Also note that Gormley has started an audit of planning in Galway City and find out who is doing it and complain long and hard about this decision which has ridden roughshod over evidently proper planning and development and the wishes of an bord pleanála.

    If cyclists are not sharing that bus lane I want it allocated for car use too outside the 2 hour am and pm peaks ....obviously if you lot get your shared lane back with the buses we will have to 'aggle a bit about peaks :D

    The current plan is lose lose lose for cars buses and cyclists , complete bollix in other words. We have been waiting for the dualled SQR since the fragment of dualler was built at the Corrib Park roundabout circa 1982 :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 ✭✭✭ KevR


    It will be some achievement if they manage to drag this out for 14 months! They will probably finish it in 11/12 months and then expect praise because they finished it "ahead of schedule".

    I still can't believe they are going to make such a mess of it after so many years of planning.

    Council signs major contract for upgrading Seamus Quirke Road

    Galway Advertiser, September 09, 2010.
    The Galway City Council has signed a €7 million contract with Coffey Construction Ltd for the long awaited upgrading of the Seamus Quirke Road, according to Fine Gael councillor Pádraig Conneely.

    Cllr Conneely said the news was announced at a meeting of the council’s corporate policy group on Monday.

    According to Cllr Conneely, work will start at the end of September and take 14 months to complete. He added that as the new four-lane road will impact on the Westside pitches, €500,000 will be allocated from the Roads Fund to reconfigure and upgrade them.

    A contractor will also be appointed to carry out the enhancement works for the pitches. Other elements of the scheme will bring the total cost to €9/10 million.
    http://www.advertiser.ie/galway/article/30622


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 ✭✭✭ KevR


    Here is a plan of the upgrade:
    http://www.galwaycity.ie/GTU/220910_01.pdf

    I'm in a rush now but will make a few points on it later. I also got a traffic management notice in my letterbox which I will scan and post later.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 ✭✭✭ KevR


    The 2 attachments are the traffic management notice I got. I have to laugh at the image insets on the second attachment (map) which show 7 buses on the road all at the same time! A likely story!! :rolleyes:

    I really can't believe they are putting a bus lane on the North-Eastbound carriageway after the Circular Rd turn-off because no buses currently use that stretch in that direction and I'm not aware of any plans for changes to the bus services! :mad:


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,200 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    Depressing white elephant, borne out of the rubbish of the green lobby and bus priority. There arent enough buses to bother.

    If there were no bus lanes, traffic would move far better. The jams will be as bad as they ever were once this nonsense opens.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 ✭✭✭ KevR


    Not sure how much it usually costs to build a train station but I would prefer if this €10 million was used to build a train station for Renmore/GMIT. It would have a much bigger impact on traffic in Galway (albeit on the other side of town) than a bus lane on a road where there are very few buses (one section of it has no buses currently). A lot of people I have spoken to didn't actually realise that there are bus lanes going in on the SQR/BOD; they thought it was 2+2 all-purpose until I corrected them. I think if everyone was aware that it will be bus lanes then this huge waste of public money would cause a lot more outrage.


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