— Minister Ryan says decision is councillors’ to make, but funding is available.
— Delaying means a future generation of Galwegians growing up without safe route says Galway Cycling Campaign.
A sense of fear is growing in Galway City that councillors will vote against a trial of a cycle path in Salthill. A vote on a quick-build trial is expected to be held later today.
Mayor Colette Connolly (Independent) has a motion, set to be discussed and voted on, which says: “That Galway City Council shall urgently seek to create a two way segregated cycle track on a temporary basis along the coastal side of Salthill promenade, specifically the R336 from the junction with Grattan Road up to where the R336 meets with the R337, and shall immediately apply for Covid-19 funding or any available alternative source of funding to facilitate this.”
In a video published on social media today , transport and climate change Eamon Ryan said that the decision is up to councillors but that if they vote for the trial that Government will provide funding for it.
Minister Ryan said: “People will know, they will have heard my views. I’d love to see this sort of cycle lane go in. I think it would be transformative and beneficial for Galway. It’s up to the council to decide. They have the call on this.”
On funding, Minister Ryan said: “The one thing I suppose, to give real clarity and certainty: The funding will be there. If we can’t spend it in Galway we might spend it in Dublin, or Cork or Limerick. But I would love to invest in Galway.”
He added: “And actually this sort of project to my mind could be transformative to get our kids to school, to get great exercise, to get to work, to bring tourism, to transform the sense of public space. So, I wish you luck with whatever the vote is tonight. Certainly we will do everything to help to build the facility, including funding if it does go that way.”
Eamon Ryan says he will fund a temporary cycle lane in Salthill if it gets the go ahead from the Council pic.twitter.com/SFGxsj30t1— Senator Pauline O'Reilly (@paulinegalway) September 13, 2021
In a statement, the Galway Cycling Campaign said: “To delay safe cycling again is to deny safe cycling, again. Delaying sustainable transport solutions is denying the climate crisis that we, and future generations of Galwegians, face right now.”
It said what it called much-needed coastal flood defences will include a permanent cycleway, but that is at “best guess is at least seven years from now”. The campaign said: “So, by 2028, children in Baby Infants today will be studying for their Junior Cert. About half of all city schools are within 1km of the proposed route.”
The campaign said that there is strong local support for the trial and that yesterday over 200 people of all ages pedalled through the streets of Galway calling for a trial Salthill Cycleway.
Here's a few highlights of the community cycle in support of the Salthill cycleway yesterday. We had such a brilliant day. Incredible support for a project that would have such a positive impact for our city. Let's make this happen Galway #iBikeSalthill #WildAtlanticGreenway pic.twitter.com/Gb6Gpnajah— #wildatlanticgreenway #barna-galwaygreenway (@GalwayUrban) September 13, 2021
The group said: “The trial Salthill Cycleway is an essential part of the consultation process [for a more permanent solution]… A trial Salthill Cycleway will be an inexpensive test, relative to the cost and potential impact of future permanent projects. Lived experience will provide fast and powerful feedback, and will inform any future plans for permanent cycling infrastructure in Salthill.”
The Galway Cycling Campaign added: “We have proposed actions to address specific concerns: allocate the seafront row of car parking spaces at Seapoint to Age Friendly courtesy spaces and Blue Badge spaces only; allocate more such designated spaces at Seapoint, Leisureland and Claude Toft council car parks, and ask private car park owners to do the same; add more pedestrian crossings along the Prom. Council engineers are the appropriate professionals to examine moving on-Prom car parking from the coastal side of the road to the other side of the road.”
Subscription drive update: IrishCycle.com reached its target of 270 subscribers by the end of August -- thank you to all who have helped! Our new target is to have 300 subscribers by the end of 2022 -- originally this was hoped to be exceeded by the first year of running the site full time (end of October).
If you can help push IrishCycle.com above 300 subscribers, please subscribe today for €5 or more. If you have already done so -- thank you!
Please remember, every month there's a natural drop-off in subscriptions due to people getting new cards, cards stolen, Revolut not topped up etc.
IrishCycle.com is a reader-funded journalism publication. Effectively it's an online newspaper covering news and analyses of cycling and related issues, including cycle route designs, legal changes, and pollical and cultural issues.
There are examples, big and small, which show that the reader-funded or listener-funding model can work to support journalism -- from the Dublin Inquirer and The Guardian to many podcasts. To make it work for IrishCycle.com, it just needs enough people like you to believe!
Monthly subscriptions will give IrishCycle.com's journalism a dependable base of support. But please don't take free access for granted. Last year IrishCycle.com had an average of 15,800 readers per month and we know our readers include people who cycle and those who don't, politicians, officials and campaigners.
I know only a small percentage of readers will see the value of keeping this open enough to subscribe, that's the reality of the reader-funded model. But more support is needed to keep this show on the road.
The funding drive was started in November 2021 and, as of the start of June 2022, 250 readers have kindly become monthly subscribers -- thank you very much to all that have!
But currently, it's only around 1.6% of readers who subscribe. So, if you can, please join them and subscribe today via ko-fi.com/irishcycle/tiers