A mobility officer for Galway could oversee and co-ordinate the roll-out of a new, integrated, more efficient, and more sustainable modes of cycling, walking, and public transport in the city, that would benefit all Galwegians.
This is the view of Social Democrats Galway City East councillor, Owen Hanley, who is calling on City Hall to appoint a mobility officer. He is also calling on council officials to secure money for the post and the work it would entail, in the local authority's budget for 2020.
Cllr Hanley acknowledged that "good work is underway" in City Hall's Transport Department, regarding the development of five new cycle lanes for the east of the city; new bus corridors, and enhancements for Shop Street; as well as the funding already secured for cycling enhancements; but the Galway City Council still needs to be "more ambitious when it comes to prioritising cycling, walking, and public transport use".
"As a city with limited space using our streets as effectively as possible, linking up different transport options, and implementing them in an evidence based manner is vital," he said. "A mobility officer can bring this different elements together with joined-up thinking in a way that will emphasis the shift we need to see."
Cllr Hanley, who this week was also nominated for the GALAS LGBT+ Public Figure award for 2020, said there are increased calls from the public for increased pedestrianised streets, universal access that caters for the needs of those with disabilities, and reliable bus routes. "The people of Galway want to use buses in much higher frequency," he said. "We must now work with all stakeholders to provide it."