Waterways Ireland proposes 15km/h speed limit on canal and river greenways across Ireland

Waterways Ireland is proposing a 15km/h speed limit on its canal and river greenways — the move is part of the draft byelaws, the public consultation on which ends today.

15km/h is well below the normal safe speed of cycling on most canal greenways, especially away from urban areas or pinch points. A reader contacted IrishCycle.com with concerns that it would dampen demand for commuting and long-distance touring cycling on the canals.

The move comes to limit people cycling to 15km/h after the Government has pumped millions of euro into greenways along canals with the dual aim of promoting both long-distance cycling and commuting. While councils are partly responsible for the development of greenways on the Royal Canal and Grand Canal, Waterways Ireland has overall responsibility for at least most of the canal paths.

Under the header “Prohibited Activity on canal property” the byelaws list: “Exceed a speed of 15 kilometres per hour on any bicycle, tricycle or powered personal transporter while using any greenway.”

The byelaw changes are listed as part of the Public Consultation on Draft Revisions to the Shannon Navigation Bye-laws and Grand & Royal Canal and Barrow Navigation Bye-laws.

There is no clear deadline date on the consultation page, but online feedback form states: “The deadline for submissions is 2 October 2023 after which the feedback will be considered, the final bye-laws drafted and submitted to the Minister for approval.”

The consultation page also includes the email address corporate@waterwaysireland.org with the note to include Byelaw consultation in the subject line

The cross-border Waterways Ireland has been viewed widely as a government body with an anti-cycling streek with previous heavy use of restrictive kissing gates. This image had been largely reformed but the lastest news will likely dent their cycling-frendly credentials.


  1. Will we have Greenway Garda with speed cameras pulling over kids going 20 ? Laughable at best. What’s next a learner’s licence and annual greenway tax?

  2. Bizarre. Especially given no mention of speed limit for cars etc. Utterly unenforceable but that is hardly the point.

    Submitted feedback. Said 4pm on the 2nd so may be too late but worth a shot anyway.


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