Councillors and cycling campaigners in Galway have welcomed the news that Galway City Council is expected to be given access to funding for at least 22 new staff to provide for walking and cycling.
It follows the wider news that funding for 248 jobs is being made available nationally to support “1,000 kilometres of walking and cycling infrastructure by 2025”. IrishCycle.com has also reported on how 96 of those jobs were confirmed for Dublin City, Limerick, and Co Cork.
Meanwhile, Waterford County Council are currently seeking applicants for four positions, at least two of which are firmly linked to walking and cycling. For the council’s Active Travel Team, Waterford County Council are seeking a Senior Engineer and Senior Executive Engineer. The council is also seeking Executive Engineer (panel) and Senior Executive Architect.
In Galway, the Galway Cycling Campaign said: “Good news! We hear that our government will fund at least 22 new staff in an Active Travel Team in Galway City Council.”
The group added: “The Galway Development Plan 2017-2023 has great ideas for walking and cycling — big constraint has been lack of personnel and funds. This changes now.”
The group said that the skills mix in a new Active Travel Team in the council should be multidisciplinary with urban design, planning and placemaking expertise.
Kevin Jennings, chairperson of Galway Cycling Campaign, said 22 new staff dedicated to active travel for “is a real statement of intent that Galway is ready to fulfil its potential to be a leader in mobility and liveability.”
He thanked local TD and Minister for Roads Hildegarde Naughton and the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan for making the funding available to the council.
The Galway School Cycle Bus, which helps children get to school in a cycling unfriendly road network, tweeted that — as the group has said before — it will welcome being made redundant.
The Galway Cycle Bus said: “These 22 jobs have the potential to accelerate our redundancy as a service, and we warmly welcome it! Let’s transform our communities to facilitate safe, accessible and sustainable movement between our homes, schools and playing grounds.”
It called on Galway City Council to back the jobs funding up with action.
Cllr Owen Hanley (Social Democrats) said: “22 new staff dedicated to Active Travel for Galway City Council has incredible potential for the city. Details around their job remit and expertise will be key to delivering a paradigm shift that works for everyone.”
Cllr Niall Murphy (Green Party) said: “I am thrilled to hear about 22 staff for Galway City in the recent allocation for active travel from DOT. Now it is up to us, the council, to use the funding and fill those positions to be have the staff dedicated to cycling and walking in Galway.”
GOOD NEWS! We hear that our government will fund at least 22 new staff in an Active Travel Team in Galway City Council#GalwayDevPlan 2017-2023 has great ideas for walking & cycling – big constraint has been lack of personnel & funds
— Galway Cycling Campaign (@GalwayCycling) February 8, 2021