Saturday 14 June 2008

Ambitious plan to give Galway its own 'Gluas' trams

GALWAY could have its own light rail system called Gluas up and running within three years and at a cost of just €200m.

It will be cheaper than the capital's Luas system, which began in 2001 and ended up costing €775m.

Ambitious plans to build a 21km network of three lines with 64 stations serving the east and west of the city will be unveiled next Monday.

Proposers claim the system will need just 12,000 passengers a day to break even. And unlike the Dublin system, all three lines would actually link up.

The first line would have a park-and-ride site at the western end of the Western Distributor Road in Knocknacarra, running to Bishop O'Donnell Road and Westside, before crossing the River Corrib at the Quincentennial Bridge.

It would continue to Bohermore and past the G Hotel onto the Dublin Road, with a depot at Merlin Park.

The second line would have a park-and-ride site at Dangan/Bushypark -- linking with the first line at the Quincentennial Bridge -- then down the Newcastle Road to serve NUI Galway and UCH Galway.

The tram would travel down University Road and across the Salmon Weir Bridge before going up Eglington Street to Eyre Square.

It would continue to Prospect Hill and out the Tuam Road before making its way to another park-and-ride site at Briarhill to serve Ballbrit Industrial Estate and Galway Racecourse. The third line would run from Westside -- linking with the first line -- and then into the city centre.

Irish Independent

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