At the request of Cllr. Frank Fahy, Jim Higgins MEP will visit the Merlin woods site
MEP JIM HIGGINS COMES TO GALWAY TO BRING MERLIN WOODS CASE TO EUROPE
MEP HIGGINS DRIVEN ROUND THE BEND AS COUNCIL BARKS UP THE WRONG TREE
At the request of Cllr. Frank Fahy, Jim Higgins MEP will visit the city on Saturday (1st Feb) to visit the Merlin woods site, and examine first-hand the proposals for the new Bus Corridor. Speaking in Brussels, MEP Higgins said “Today I have formally askedthe European Commission to look at the proposed development for the so-called Merlin Bus Corridor, to see if it complies with the EU Habitats Directive. I am certain, that given features of the site, there is scope to block the destruction of the wood under the Directive”
Speaking ahead of a visit to the site next Saturday, MEP Higgins, who is Ireland’s only member of the European Parliament Transport Committee said “I am already familiar with the site, and those who know me know that I am all in favour of public transport, including the provision of improved bus services in Galway city. However we must get the balance right – this is a fabulous natural amenity, valued by the people of east Galway city, and the City council quite literally want to drive a coach and four through the site.”
Cllr Frank Fahy has submitted a motion for the February meeting of Galway City Council to begin the process of removing the Bus Corridor from the City Development Plan. “This is something I fully support,” added Higgins.
MEP Higgins said “The EU Habitats Directive has been a very contentious piece of legislation, and is responsible for blocking the much-needed Galway city outer bypass, however on this occasion, we might be able to use it to the people of Galway’s advantage. I am in favour of Cllr. Fahy’s approach – build a new bus lane from the old Corrib Great Southern to the Galway Clinic, at a fraction of the cost. The Council are barking up the wrong tree – I am very familiar with the Directive, and I am not certain that building a road through an amenity such as Merlin Woods would comply with EU Law.”