“Irrational” to build roads in climate crisis says group challenging Ring Road

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Galway Daily news

The Friends of the Irish Environment, one of the groups seeking a judicial review of the N6 Galway Ring Road, has said that it is irrational to be building roads during a climate crisis.

The FIE was granted leave for a judicial review of the ring road on Monday by High Court Justice Humphreys.

They had initially brought the challenge last week, but it was adjourned to allow Minister for the Environment Richard Bruton to be added as a notice party.

Helena Murphy of FIE said that the answer to Galway’s traffic problems lie in measures such as improved public transport, along with an “ongoing push” for pedestrianisation and bicycle lanes, instead of “more and bigger” roads.

“This project totally flies in the face of all of our environmental targets and undermines our compliance with the Habitats Directive as well as our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Developing roads in a climate crisis is just irrational, no matter how much one seeks to greenwash it,” Helena Murphy said.

FIE claims in its legal challenge to the ring road that An Bord Pleanála failed to act in a manner consistent with Ireland’s climate commitments in law.

The group also claims that the Bord cannot have made a valid determination of whether the ring road would affect sensitive habitats, due to a lack of site specific objectives.

The Galway Race Committee is also seeking a judicial review of the ring road as their stables in Ballybrit will be lost.

It said that appropriate mitigation for this loss was not provided by An Bord Pleanála, despite the recommendation of the Bord inspector.

The 18km dual carriageway bypass of Galway City proposes to connect the M6 near the Coolagh Roundabout with Barna.

The €600 project would involve building a new bridge over the Corrib, as well as multiple tunnel sections, including under Galway Racecourse.

Planning permission was granted for the project by An Bord Pleanála last December after many delays.