M6 Galway Bypass

Could open : 2020 Status : Not under consideration
M6 Motorway Logo


Redesignate Motorway : 11.8 km

A HQDC outer bypass of Galway, to complement its Inner Bypass, completed in stages in the 1990s, was intended to be completed by 2010 but environmental and community opposition has stymied its progress. Nonetheless, it is still scheduled for completion in the next decade. Since it will be to motorway standard and links with the motorway network to the east, it should be redesignated to motorway. This change would include the small 3 km section of the mainline N6 out to Athenry which is still currently not motorway either. Note that no physical changes to the motorway would be needed.

The Galway City Bypass was originally meant to run west as far as Barna, on the R336, but An Bord Pleanála (Irish Planning Board) rejected this on environmental grounds, curtailing the scheme to the N59 and knocking around 10 km off it. The whole scheme was subsequently blocked in April 2013 by a European Court of Justice ruling. As of early 2015, it is back in planning with a preferred route to be announced soon.

In terms of timings, it is unlikely that the Galway Bypass will be completed before 2025 due to the severe problems it is having getting through the planning system. The redesignation can occur immediately prior to opening.

Update 08/05/2017: Since a motorway order has now been issued for the Galway Bypass, it seems that it may indeed all be declared a motorway when it opens. The road is not due to start until 2021 and will open in 2024, so time will tell.

Wikipedia page on this road


Origin East of Galway city, near the airport
Terminates N59
Places Served Galway City
Routes Spawned -
Intersects M6


Please take a minute to answer a very short survey on your opinion of this road proposal.

A person doesn't like this - rating it 1/10 on both counts but reckoning nonetheless that it should be higher spec - and has this to say:
"It's too close to Galway city and just creating another bottle neck around the city, it would benefit the city better with a second crossing at Kilbeg to Knockferry but as it's to the future you are supposed to be looking you would expect that the NRA would have learned from previous experiences."
The Bun rates this 7/10 and 1/10, and thinks it should all be put in a tunnel.

Nathan dismisses this outright: 1/10 on both counts. He reckons some changes should be made:
"Should be lower spec. Menlo to Dangan bridge."
Someone else rates this 8/10 and the route 5/10. They stress the following:
"Make sure it intersects with Tuam Road this time".
This is a reference to the fact that the originally planned road did indeed pass by the current N17 road without an interchange. This was intentional as the purpose of the new road layout is to divert traffic off this road and onto the new motorways. There are many new proposed routings and it isn't clear exactly what the access arrangement is with the N17 for each of them. It remains to be seen which alignment is chosen.

A person is keen to see this done, rating it 10/10 and the alignment 8/10:
"Hurry up and build it and keep the Crusties away from it."
J rates this 10/10 on both counts but thinks the standard should be higher.

A rating has been received of 1/10 and the person who made it has the following considered analysis to make:
"A bypass is a road or highway that avoids or "bypasses" a built-up area, town, or village, to let through traffic flow without interference from local traffic, to reduce congestion in the built-up area, and to improve road safety. A bypass specifically designated for trucks may be called a truck route. It's not a Bypass but an inner ring road and the planning behind it is about 20 years out of date. It doesn't help alleviate traffic or the future transportation needs. It's not going to help the future development of Galway."
Colm rates this 10/10 and the alignment 9.

Someone rated this a lukewarm 6/10 and the alignment 3/10, and has this to say:
"Should go to R336, west of Bearna."
DDevine from the UK has rated this 10/10 and the alignment a decent 7/10:
"As a commuter who drives through Galway city each day from the M6 to the N59 a bypass would easily reduce my travel by 30 minutes on a good day and 1-2 hours when traffic is heavy."
D rates it 10/10 and the alignment 7, but thinks it should be higher spec (than motorway):
"Very good layout but bypass should go all the way to west of Bearna and west side of bypass should be labelled R336 west of N59 junction, tunnels should be like the Shannon tunnel and the bridge like the Boyne bridge on the M1."
Middle Man is a big fan (giving this 10/10) and has this to say:
"Should be motorway - anything less points to IQ deficiency among the powers that be..."
CORMAC07 is fully behind this: 10/10 on both counts.

A site visitor rates this 10/10 and comments:
"Needs to get built. Galway is falling behind economically."
Ddevine rates this 10 and comments:
"A by pass is essential for galway."
Leo rates this 10 and the alignment 7. Galway driver says,
"Galway is at a standstill at times as regards traffic. This project is vital economically but also to ensure we don't spend half our lives sitting in traffic jams!"