The public will be able to view the most recent plan for the €1 billion redevelopment of Galway's rail and bus station during two open days which are to take place in the city next week.
Planning consultants will be available to answer questions and hear submissions concerning the proposed transformation of Ceannt station.
More detailed plans will be available than at the initial launch in February, when outrage was expressed in some quarters after it emerged that 800 new apartments would be included in the development.
CIÉ has rejected claims that it is attempting to fast-track the plans through the normal planning process by going directly to An Bord Pleanála, rather than to the city council.
A spokesman, Barry Kenny, rejected claims from Michael D Higgins TD (Labour) that the Galway site was being "yielded" to property speculators while public transport needs in Dublin and other areas were being paid for from Government funds.
Mr Kenny said the newly opened Adamstown (Dublin) and Midleton (Cork) stations were being funded by "public-private partnerships" in tandem with developers.
"Isn't it great that we are going to be able to develop a world-class public transport interchange and not have the taxpayer pay for it?" said Mr Kenny yesterday.
He claimed the revamped station, which would include three rail platforms and 25 bus bays, would cater for significant expansion of the city in the longer-term.
However, Mr Higgins said the 800 apartments proposed for the site could block off the entrance to a future commuter rail link to Oranmore and Renmore on the east side of the city.
He accused CIÉ of reneging on promises that it would undertake a feasibility study for the introduction of a light-rail system for the city.
© 2007 The Irish Times