An oral hearing will get underway today into the proposed Galway city bypass.

Galway City Council says the €600 million ring road is needed to ease chronic traffic congestion in the city, but a number of groups opposing the project have questioned its merits, with campaigners saying there should be more focus on public transport.

If the bypass goes ahead, over 40 houses would have to be demolished.

An Bord Pleanala has received over 300 objections to the proposal, and the oral hearing is expected to continue for several weeks .

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