Press Release - Friends of Irish Environment - 21st Dec 2018
Call for Oral Hearing for Galway City Ring Road
On the last day for submissions on the proposed Galway City Ring Road, environmentalists have called on An Bord Pleanala to hold an Oral Hearing.
According to Friends of the Irish Environment, the project will undermine national policy in Smarter Travel - A Sustainable Transport Future and its target to reduce work-related commuting by car from 65% to 45%. The environmental charity alleges that because the road will encourage greater use of private motor vehicles in Galway over the period up to and beyond 2050, it is also contrary to the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 which set a national objective of transition to a low carbon climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy.
Their submission alleges that approach to providing figures addressing greenhouse gas emissions is ‘cursory’ and fails to meet the standards of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.
FIE Director Tony Lowes says that the ‘Environmental Impact Assessment Report fails to describe the forecasting method for CO2 emissions in any way. No figures are given for predicted emissions for future years with the road and without the road, figures that would show the percentage change in emissions resulting from the project. Despite the inadequacies in the information supplied, the Report predicts that the proposed road will increase CO2 emissions.
‘National policy requires meaningful consideration to alternatives like walking, cycling and public transport. Despite the experience of cities of similar sizes across Europe successfully reducing demand for car trips it is somehow implied (though not explained) that Galway is different, and this sort of progress isn't possible. Its looks like another case of ‘We’re Irish, we’re different’, Mr. Lowes said.
The organisation’s submission finishes ‘In light of the inadequacies in the Environmental Impact Assessment Report, and the gravity of the impact of this road proposal on the possibilities for a sustainable transport future for Galway, we believe an oral hearing should be held into this application.’
Tony Lowes 353 (0)27 74771 / 353 (0)87 2176316
Daithí Ó hÉalaithe (Irish language) +353 (0)87 6178852
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