Galway needs to follow the example of Wales and decrease its speed limits for urban areas from 50km/h to 30km/h, that is the opinion of the chairperson of Galway Cycling Campaign, Kevin Jennings.
The city council is currently in the process of a public consultation about revising speed limit bye-laws throughout the city and Mr Jennings believes that Galway should be inspired by the Welsh Government's report that is recommending 30km/h replace 50km/h as the default speed limit on urban roads throughout the country and should embrace the benefits of slower speeds.
If the legislation is passed, Wales will become the first country in the world to reduce the default speed limit for urban areas to 20mph.
He said: “If someone is struck by a vehicle at 30km/h, their chance of survival is up to 97 per cent. This decreases with every kilometre driven faster.
“There is also evidence that injuries are reduced when 30km/h limits are introduced and that 30km/h limits lead to more walking and cycling and lower noise levels. It’s more important now than ever to have safer streets and spaces for walking and cycling.
"A lower citywide speed limit would be life-changing because slower speeds will improve the places where we live, work, and go to school. We saw during lockdown that people were encouraged to walk and cycle more because they felt safer doing so.
“We look forward to working with Galway City Council to support lower speeds limits. We are happy to see public support for citywide lower speed limits from An Garda Chief Superintendent Tom Curley and chair of the Joint Policing Committee, Cllr Níall McNelis.”
Tomorrow evening, between 7.30pm and 9.30pm, the advocacy group will host its monthly meeting online via Zoom with Gwenda Owen of Cycling UK - Wales the special guest speaker.
Owens has played a significant role creating public support for the benefits of slower speeds in cities, towns, and villages by working closely with grassroots and community organisations and sat on the Welsh Government's Walking and Cycling Action Plan Steering Group, which produced the Walking and Cycling Strategy for Wales in 2014.
Spokesperson for Galway Cycling Campaign Martina Callanan said; “The majority of our primary and secondary schools, primary care centres, community centres, and sports grounds are in our suburbs, outside the inner city zone, as well as Galway University Hospital, Bon Secours and Merlin Park hospital campuses, and GMIT.
"These are places that many people arrive at by foot and bike. Lower speed limits will make it safer, healthier, and much more pleasant, to choose active travel.”
Email [email protected] for the online Zoom link.