Cost of Postage Stamps up again

An Post has announced a price hike for national and international stamps, with it to cost an extra 15 cent to send a letter anywhere in Ireland from next month.

From March 1st, the price of a national stamp will increase from €1.10 to €1.25, while an international stamp will increase from €2.00 to €2.20.

The cost of a national 10-stamp booklet will remain at the current price of €11.

Anna McHugh from An Post said that despite the increase, Irish stamp prices remain lower than many European countries.

“The increases when they come in will still be less than the average across Europe by quite a bit. The average across Europe for the domestic standard letter is €1.58 and it will be €1.25 in Ireland,” she said.

If you expect to have significant postage costs in the near future it might pay to buy your stamps before March 1st. As the stamps now have the “N” and “W” designations on them instead of the cost, any bought before the increase will be good afterwards as well.

Cost Savingshttps://salthillservices.wordpress.com/cost-savings/

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Impacts of Proposed Cycle Lane through Salthill

With regard to the current proposals for a cycle lane through Salthill, along R336 Seapoint Promenade, R336 Salthill Road Upper and the R336 Knocknacarra Road.

Actions have implications and impacts. If the negative consequences of a proposal outweigh the positive then a “do nothing” response is the appropriate one, at least until such time as a modified proposal is developed that eliminates or mitigates the negative impacts to an acceptable degree. This is one such proposal.

The impacts of what is currently proposed would include:

  • Loss of parking. When there are events in Pearse Stadium or Leisureland it is assumed that parking is available along the Prom. Indeed such availability has been used in the past and accepted by Galway City Planning department as part of the justification for many contentious planning permissions.
  • Loss of access to Prom and beaches of those not fit and active enough due to age or other reasons.
  • Turning local residential areas into full-time car parks. An immediate concern to residents in roads off the Prom is where displaced parking would be accommodated. We already have overflow from the commercial centre of Salthill, but should this proposal go ahead we are likely to have outside our homes blocked up with traffic date and night. Residential estates become routes for commuter traffic making a mockery of the statements in the city development plan to preserve and enhance the amenity and character of such neighbourhoods.
  • Making local residential areas where children and others currently walk and cycle, play, push prams etc. effectively into no go areas. In other words transferring the problems the pro lobby sees for the existing situation on the route to the local residential areas.
  • Increased duration and distance of travel for thousands of commuters daily, resulting in delay, frustration and extra emissions from traffic.
  • Emergency services will not escape the delays. Every minute added to the arrival time of the fire brigade may make the difference between a property being saved or totally destroyed. It might mean the difference between saving or losing a life. The same goes for the ambulance and other emergency services.
  • Threadneedle Road would be backed up and gridlocked at all it’s junctions with one of the options. They would not be the only ones.
  • Overall the traffic situation which has been identified as a major problem in Galway will be worsened. If frequency of buses is reduced because of longer travel time to cover modified routes will this drive more from public transport to the comfort and convenience of their cars for daily commutes to work? Commuters have to start earlier to get to work on time and arrive back home later in the day? Will the distance between stops be increased in an effort to compensate, again making the bus option less attractive to some commuters, particularly the less agile?
  • The Salthill business community has expressed the view that it would be disastrous to the area, leading to bad feeling and seriously affect a number of businesses that rely on nearby parking to facilitate their customers. This in turn may mean some loss in jobs.
  • Like it or not some people depend on cars for their mobility. Many an elderly person is not fit enough to cycle or walk to where they want to go. Their car is their independence.
  • In bad weather, mostly coinciding with the school year but not the proposed time for this experiment, along the exposed Prom is not the route of choice for most children cycling to school.
  • It does not take six months to do a quick test run and see what happens. We would question the nature of the trial proposed. It does not appear to be a sensible approach. Much less drastic actions could be taken to better define the problem and potential solutions and discovering the extend of any overlooked or unintended consequences as a result of implementing the proposals, before committing such a high level of resources.
  • How will thousands of cars daily passing through residential areas affect the safety of those areas for the residents? How will the traffic noise in the early hours of the morning affect their sleep? How many jobs are likely to be lost in local businesses? What will be the actual cost to different people in terms of health, finances, living standards, amenity value? How many more car miles will be travelled. What will be the net effect on the environment? Where are the projections?

On the plus side for the small minority of people who are both fit enough and inclined to cycle this route they get a few km of car free road all to themselves.

When you weigh up the pluses and minuses this definitely comes down to a situation where “Do Nothing” is the appropriate response until a plan is put forward that more reasonably balances the losses and gains to different groups.

Part 2

As currently proposed it is both thoughtless and selfish. In addition to the problems with the actual proposal there are concerns about how it was arrived at, and the nature of the “public consultation”.

If initial support for the idea was due to a hazy notion that it would be good for the environment to put in a cycle lane, again it was based on flawed logic which had not been thought through. Some people may take to their bikes for some of the time but thousands of people will have to make longer round trips in cars and buses in their daily commute all year round, causing massively more emissions and congestion than that saved by converting a few to cycling.

Our council’s senior engineer is quoted as saying that the “do nothing” option presented to councillors at the meeting was only a “benchmark”; and doing nothing was “not an option in this scenario”. He said the public consultation was not about “asking the public if this is a good idea or not ”. It was about “tweaking it to meet certain needs of stakeholders, businesses, residents’ ‘. Further, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council told a local authority meeting “unless councillors make a different decision”, he was “doing my level best to implement” the decision. It would seem then, that the city council management have decided to implement a proposal not because it makes sense but because the elected representatives passed a motion. That they consider the “public consultation” a box ticking exercise that can basically be ignored. The motion passed by councillors was proceeded by an extraordinary situation. A vote not to discuss the motion before voting on it. They voted to pass a motion without discussing it and several have since claimed they did not realise the implications and if they had to vote again they would vote differently. If they are honest, then, there is only one correct thing to do. Have a serious debate on all the pros and cons and then with their new found appreciation of the implications vote on the matter again. The city manager is obviously leaving this option open to them as his “unless councillors make a different decision” statement shows.

There should be honest, open and comprehensive discussion and debate on this matter, and the public should be allowed a genuine voice. To claim that everyone who supports the idea of a cycle lane is for this particular proposal would be as wrong as to assume that everyone who is against this particular proposal as presented so far is against a cycle lane.

We all make mistakes from time to time. When we do, it is to be hoped that we have the courage to admit it and do what we can to rectify the situation. We expect no less from our leaders in any sphere of life. If the people who have great control over what happens where we live and who make decisions that greatly impact our daily lives lack the courage and character to do likewise, if they find that they no longer represent their constituents, then surely it is time for them to relief themselves of their positions or be relieved of them by those whom they are supposed to represent.

It is up to the people of Galway to make their voices heard. If you have views on this issue make them known. But please do so in a reasoned, considerate and honest manner. And don’t leave it until it is too late to count. Do it now.

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Proposed Cycle Lanes on the Prom in Salthill

Feedback on my last post was that while it was good to have access to all the information it was complex to follow. So here is a useful summary circulated by the Glenard residents. Apologies for anyone on multiple email lists.


Cycle Lanes on the Prom – Update

Galway City Co took a decision last September to develop a temporary two-way cycle track from Grattan Road to Blackrock and a one-way cycle track from Blackrock to the Barna Road. They are now considering 3 options on how to proceed.

The first option proposes a one way vehicular traffic system for incoming traffic all the way from the Barna Road to Grattan Road. This would affect our area very badly as all Westward bound traffic from the Grattan Road / Lower Salthill area would be diverted up Dr. Mannix Road (DMR), (an estimated 774 vehicles per hour during the evening peak).

The second option proposes a one way traffic system from the Barna Road to Blackrock with a two way traffic system maintained along the prom from Blackrock to Grattan Road. There would also be various “pinch points” along the prom where the cycle lanes would fall slightly short of the standards recommended in the Cycle Design Manual. This option would allow traffic to travel in both directions along the prom but on reaching the Blackrock mini roundabout all Westward bound traffic would be diverted up Threadneedle Road, where it would turn left at the top and continue Westwards. Option 2 is a better option for our area but only slightly so, as it is inevitable that much of that diverted traffic will over time re-route up DMR, rather than go out to Blackrock and be diverted there. Option 2 would be better if the Council abandoned the Blackrock to Barna Road cycle lane and allowed two way traffic on that section.

The third option is labelled as “Do Nothing” i.e. leave things as they are but this is unlikely to be accepted by the Council.

Another major consequence of all this is the loss of parking on the prom – Option 1 would remove 108 car parking spaces along the prom, while Option 2 would require the removal of 216 spaces. Parking in Salthill is already a major problem and this will make it worse.

The timing of this trial / study period i.e. March to September is also highly questionable, as one would expect that a January to June or a July to December period would give better balanced research, with more diverse weather and usage conditions.

This is a very important issue for the future of our area. Public Consultation will take place soon (up to 5pm January 28th) and we urge all our residents to think about the issues, to take part in the process and make their views known. If anybody needs help or more information please contact your road representative or Peadar Ó hUallacháin at 086-8258704. Thanks very much.

They also circulated a sample letter that could be used as a submission on the issue, a copy of which is attached. Of course you can make explicit all your own concerns, and have it in before 5pm on Friday, January 28th.

Note this is not a planning application. There is no fee required to make your views known on this issue. 

For those who want to study the technical details, they can be found at http://www.galwaycity.ie/SalthillTemporaryCycleway 

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Theft from car on Rockbarton Road

Got this email from a local resident today.

Sorry to bother you. This is (name) in number (?), Rockbarton Road.  Just wondering if you can send out email to locals. I think you have most people’s email addresses.  My car was gone through yesterday evening in driveway with number of items stolen. Just want people to be aware. I had left car unlocked as was bringing in shopping and was heading off again. It was only a small time-frame, around 7.15pm

Just thought others should know.

If anyone has any information or spots anything suspicious please pass it on to Gardaí.

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Public Consultation on the proposed Salthill Temporary Cycleway

Public Consultation on the proposed Salthill Temporary Cycleway will commence on Friday 14th January 2022, (for two weeks).

Information including drawings, cross sections and FAQs on the two proposed options will be available online, at www.galwaycity.ie/SalthillTemporaryCycleway from Friday 14th January.  

Galway City Council welcomes observations on the two proposed options: 

Online – through an online form available at www.galwaycity.ie/SalthillTemporaryCycleway  

By post – to Transport, Galway City Council, College Road, Galway 

By email – to activetravel@galwaycity.ie 

Deadline for submissions is 4.00pm on Friday 28th January 2022.

Note there is no fee required to make a submission.

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There’s only One Number 1

Congratulations to up and coming Galway singer/composer Katelyn Molloy on having her own composition “I Still Love You All The Same” voted Downda Road Radio’s Irish Country Song of the Year.

Next up for Katelyn is taking part in the new series of Glór Tíre with the first shows airing on TG4 in a month’s time.

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The Christmas Crib (The Nativity)

Christmas Crib

No room in the Inn.

So born in a stable.

Just a manger full of straw for a cradle.

Centre stage is the infant Jesus.

The miracle God Child sent to save us.

The angel brought good tidings of great joy,

when announcing the birth of this little boy.

Just as the shepherds by the angel had been told,

He lay wrapped in swaddling clothes to protect him from the cold.

Under his parents’ watchful gaze,

the shepherds offered their adoration and their praise.

When just a little more time passed by,

He received the Adoration of the Magi.

Three wise men , kings from the East they were.

They found the infant king by following a star.

They lay before him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

gold as a symbol of kingship on earth,

frankincense as a symbol of deity,

despite the humble scene of the Nativity.

And myrrh (an embalming oil) as a symbol of death to come,

from which His Resurrection our salvation won.

Warned not to return to Herod in a dream,

they left for their own country by another path, unseen.

Two thousand years since that time has passed. by.

Yet the message of hope is still fresh for you and I.

And every Christmas we recall to mind,

The birth of the Saviour as a Child.

The message of Christmas is one of hope and love.

And that we are all children of God above.

.

.

I wish a very happy and peaceful Christmas to everyone, and a prosperous new year. Take care of yourselves and each other. Be mindful of but not afraid of the problems we face and help each other through them.

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Update on proposed Cycle Lane along Salthill Promenade

Below a copy of the memo prepared by Galway City Council to provide an update on the City Council’s progress on the motion on putting a cycleway along the PROM in Salthill.

The motion passed by councillors, apparently without debate was:

“That Galway City Council shall urgently seek to create a two-way segregated cycle track on a temporary basis along the coastal side of Salthill promenade, specifically the R336 from the junction with Grattan Road up to the junction of the Prom/Blackrock Tower and a one way cycle track from the latter junction up to where the R336 meets with the R337, and shall immediately apply for COVID 19 funding or any available alternative source of funding to facilitate this”.

Possible repercussions of this could potentially be a one way traffic system for motor vehicles along the Prom, rerouted traffic through other areas, longer bus and other motor journeys and longer journey times, increased emissions due to driving longer routes, more congestion on alternative routes, loss of parking spaces and taxi rank spaces.

Read or download the report below.

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Voting now open for Irish Country Star of the Year

We had a fantastic and varied selection of nominations from the station’s DJ’s and backroom staff. All you need to do now is to get voting! Please see the link below! Voting is now open. You can vote once a Day up until the 27th of December and don’t forget to like our page to be in with a chance of winning our Come Join the music T-Shirt . What are you waiting for … get voting https://downdaroadradio.com/irish-song-of-the-year.html

No prizes for guessing who we are voting for.

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A Nice Way to do Business

This came up in my Facebook feed. I thought it such a nice way for a new outfit to do business and am happy to share it here. The text read as follows:

“This year so far has been absolutely amazing for us, having started in April with nothing more than my laptop and kitchen table to having our busiest month helping 8 people find new homes in November, now with Danny on the team I can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦We couldn’t achieve any of this without all the homeowners and families that have put their trust in us to help them and now we want to give back.

🏥 For every new listing we take on in December we will donate €250 from our fee to the Galway hospice in the name of the homeowner. The Galway Hospice has been close to both our hearts having helped family members through some of the toughest times and hopefully, we can help them out in our own small way this Christmas.

💸 We have set really big goals in how much we want to donate and would really appreciate it if you could share this as far and wide as you can.”

Of course you do not need to be selling a house to make a donation. You can donate directly to Galway Hospice via https://galwayhospice.ie/donate/

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