Installing a temporary cycle track from Claddagh to Blackrock in Salthill will benefit thousands of locals and many local businesses in myriad ways, the Galway Urban Greenway Alliance said last evening.
“This really is local participatory democracy in action, and we congratulate Galway City Council for its response. Galway’s citizens actively supported the provision of dedicated cycling infrastructure along this route in their droves. The installation of a safe, protected cycle track will benefit thousands of locals and many local businesses in myriad ways,” said Seán Leonard of the Galway Urban Greenway Alliance, a campaign group supported by over 30 local community, business, educational and sporting organisations.
“It’s is a win-win situation for the many, many Galwegians of all ages who use the area for recreation, exercise and commuting, as well as local businesses,” he explained. “With Government advice clearly stating that people should walk or cycle if at all possible, and taking into account the reduced options in terms of public transport, exercise and recreation, providing a safe space along this route for cycling is a really progressive response.”
“First off, imagine, for tourists, the attraction of pedalling out to Salthill and cycling along the Prom in complete safety: With more families than ever wanting to get on their bikes, the potential for attracting the thousands of staycationers that will visit Galway this summer to Salthill is huge,” said Mr Leonard.
“Next, take the proven benefits to local businesses of improving cycling infrastructure: a recent Transport for London study found that high street walking, cycling and public realm improvements can increase retail sales by 30%, and found that ‘walking and cycling helps create thriving high streets’ It’s a simple fact: People who cycle or walk to an area stay longer, and spend more,” he explained.
“As well as this, we have the huge success stories that Greenways have brought in Ireland. Areas such as those along the Mayo and Waterford Greenways have been utterly transformed, with enormous benefits for local communities and businesses: New jobs, reinvigorated towns and villages – the list is endless,” said Mr Leonard.
The City Mobility Team, set up in response to the COVID-19 crisis, called for public submissions on temporary measures to support the safe movement of people in the city, with its initial focus only on the core City Centre. The Salthill area was added as a second area of focus after the extremely large number of submissions in favour of cycling infrastructure linking the City Centre, Salthill and Knocknacarra.
Supported by over 30 local community, business, educational and sporting organisations, Galway Urban Greenway Alliance is campaigning for the progression of Galway City Council’s own plans to develop a Greenway linking Barna to the City Centre and onwards to Moycullen.
GUGA’s supporters include 11 local schools, Salthill-Knocknacarra GAA, Galway’s Westend, Galway City Business Association, Galway Bay Rugby and Cyling Clubs, and the Galway Visually Impaired Activity Group.