Local and National Policymakers, Galway Cycling Campaign, National Transport Authority
Cycling should be restored as a common, accessible and everyday form of transport in Galway. It is affordable and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Regular cycling has many physical and mental health benefits (weight loss, stress reduction and improved fitness).
Cycling is a pollution-free and noise-free mode of transport. As bikes are far smaller than cars and other vehicles, cyclists reduce traffic congestion and help traffic flow, especially during peak hours.
We can learn from other cities such as Copenhagen where 36% of citizens commute to work, school or university by bicycle.
Equal priority for all road users, improvements in cycling facilities, and safer conditions for cyclists can help make Galway a world class cycling city.
What is required is a rebalancing of transport policies away from a focus on facilitating private car use to the detriment of everybody else. Transport policy must be based around a hierarchy of road users: in order of importance (1.) pedestrians and the disabled (2.) cyclists (3.) public transport users (4.) private motorcars.
To be cycling-friendly our towns and cities must also be pedestrian-friendly and the ‘European Charter of Pedestrian Rights’ should be implemented in Galway.
Practical measures to improve conditions for cyclists:
– Reduced traffic speeds
– Changing the mix of traffic such as by diverting HGVs (heavy goods vehicles)
– Junction treatment and traffic management
– Reallocating road space such as to bus lanes and wider traffic lanes
– High quality segregated space such as wide hard shoulders, wide cycle lanes and wide cycle paths
– More bike lanes
– More bike parking facilities
– Free bike facilities on buses and trains
– Greater enforcement of the law on all road users, including cyclists.
Galway Cycling Campaign
Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, Back Lane, Dublin 8