30km/h limit introduced in Galway City Centre today, councillor says enforcement needed

— Concern also expressed at increase in speed limits on some roads away from the city centre.

A local councillor has said that enforcement is needed of Galway City Council’s new speed limit changes which come into effect today.

The changes include making most of the city centre 30km/h, although the Dock Road and Lough Atalia Road will remain at 50km/h.

The speed limit will also be increased on some suburban roads including to 80km/h and 100km/h along different sections of the N6 within the city boundary — a move criticised because people walking and cycling have to cross these roads in a city where local media have covered how red light running has reached chronic levels.

Cllr Alan Curran (SocDems) said: “New speed limits come into force today. It’s a start, but I’d like to see the 30km/h limit extended further around the city and into our suburbs. After a quick spin to town earlier, however, I’m already concerned that without enforcement these limits won’t be followed.”

The changed speed limits take effect after the introduction of the Galway City Council Special Speed Limits Bye-Laws No. 1, 2023 — see maps at the end of this article.

“Though I broadly welcome the lower speed limits in the city, I would be very concerned that without enforcement most motorists will not adhere to it through either ignorance or intent. This 30km/h zone should have been introduced in tandem with changes to the physical infrastructure such as narrowing the road width and traffic calming measures,” Cllr Curran told IrishCycle this afternoon.

As an example, he said that the long wide stretch on the Bohermore Road from the Sean Mulvoy Road into Eyre Square “in particular will be difficult to enforce as there is little incentive to slow down.”

He said: “I’ll be calling for a swift extension of this 30km/h zone across the city, and into the residential suburbs, and in particular around schools.”

The councillor also said that he is “alarmed at the subsequent increases in speed” limits on the other roads in the city.

“We don’t have free-flow junctions — overpasses and underpasses — on our main accesss roads into and out of the city, so any saving in time generated through the increased speeds will be completely negated by the wait time at these busy junctions,” said Cllr Curran.

He added: “On Bothar na dTreabh for example the speed limit is going up from 50km/h to 80km/h saving the motorist 39 seconds on this 1.8km stretch. However the average wait time for one sequence of lights is 1 minute 30 seconds, and at busy times, a motorist will wait at least two sequences before they proceed through the junction. It achieves nothing except increasing the danger on vulnerable road users who have to share the road and placates those who feel the need to speed.”


  1. 30 km/h signage is located at the beginning of the ‘slow’ road.

    However, speeding vehicles turning from a faster road do so with little or no deceleration. They pass the sign with impunity and probably, in many cases, not noticing it. The reason for this is due to poor road design in that the sweeping bends allow drivers to ignore vulnerable road users, including older people, children and disabled pedestrians, and charge on.

    Drivers are given no reminder that they are now in a 30 km/h zone.

    Unless the RSA address such road design issues the 2025 Vision Zero targets will not be met.

  2. We should not forget that an garda has an institutional reluctance to detect/enforce 30 km/h limits believing that road design should be self-enforcing.

    • That’s true. Nothing short of creative management of traffic lights, or really high speed bumps (which aren’t so good in terms of emissions even in the form of visible clouds of black smoke from some poorly maintained diesels) are available to enforce the speed limit. Even one or two stops properly publicised will help if AGS resources are very hard pressed.


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