Galway is "plagued by inefficient, unsafe, and non-connected cycling lanes" and a new vision for transport in the city, with "cyclists at its heart" is needed, according to the Social Democrats' Owen Hanley.
Mr Hanley, who is the Social Democrats Galway City East local election candidate, was speaking at the party's launch of its new plan on cycling and encouraging local authorities to promote and supporting safe cycling for all. The plan was launched in Galway last Saturday by Social Democrat leaders, deputies Roísín Shortall and Catherine Murphy.
The party's cycling plan calls for increasing to 10 per cent the amount spent on cycling and walking in the Land Transport Budget; constructing a network of segregated cycle lanes around the State, with child safety a key factor in the design; investment in additional greenways and cycling routes; extending ‘cycle bus’ initiatives, such as the Galway Cycle Bus, across the State; and annual quality and safety audits of cycling provision within each local authority area to identify black spots and trends in injuries and fatalities.
“We have to reimagine transport across our city," said the party's Galway City Central candidate, Sharon Nolan. "Planning must move beyond car users alone. We need to support increased public transport and ensure that we have viable alternatives to cars, including strong and safe cycling routes.”
Galway City West candidate John Crowley called for the Galway City Council to work closely with schools to ensure that every school has an adequate safe routes plan. He said: "A better, more engaged council is essential to achieving a safer and healthier cycling environment for all.”