Galway East Fianna Fáil TD Michael Kitt has called on the Government to reconsider its planned cuts to transport links in Galway following confirmation of significant population growth in the county.

 

Deputy Kitt said: “The preliminary results of Census 2011 show an overall population growth of over 8% across Galway, with the population in Galway County up by 10% since 2006.

 

“In light of these figures, I am calling on the Fine Gael/Labour Government to reconsider their abandonment of State support for Galway Airport. The Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar must also reconsider his agenda of scrapping new road projects and cutting local bus and rail services.

 

“Surely it is now clear to the Minister that these transport links are more important than ever for social and economic reasons. With a growing population, projects like the M17 Gort to Tuam Road, the Western Rail Corridor and Galway Outer Bypass are more relevant and necessary than ever before. Minister Varadkar has previously indicated that he plans to divert funding away from new transport projects like these, but I am now calling on him to reconsider.

 

 “I am also calling on the Government to examine the need for more school places in light of the growing population. The previous Government announced in January that three new schools will be built in Co. Galway, and the new Education Minister has confirmed that these will go ahead. This kind of investment must continue as the population in the area continues to expand.”

 

“We have seen a significant increase in the number of people living in Galway East in particular and this will have an impact on education, housing, social services and infrastructure, The Government must be ready to meet these challenges head on.”