Galway Cycling Campaign (GCC) are calling on all cyclists to join them in their mission to get Galway cycling, and are launching a fresh membership drive from April 3rd to April 6th 2018.
The GCC are calling on cyclists and everyone who wants Galway as a place where people can travel easily, safely and enjoyably by bicycle to sign up.
The GCC is an independent, membership-driven organisation made up of dedicated volunteers who advocate for all road users, including pedestrians, families, people with disabilities and public transport users.
Acting chairperson Mairéad Ní Chaoimh said, “Cyclists are woefully underserved in Galway, and we are fighting hard to get our voice heard, to get better facilities and infrastructure for cyclists. I am calling on anyone out there who wants a more cycling friendly Galway to join us today.”
GCC, the voice of cycling in Galway since 1998, have just launched an online membership facility to make it easy for people to join.
It costs just €10 for waged annual membership and €5 for unwaged annual membership. People can sign up either as active members or as supporters.
“We are very keen to sign people up as supporters. They may not have time to volunteer, but by becoming a supporter they help us give cyclists a louder voice, and add weight to our campaigns. They cheer us on from the wings, giving us a mandate. Of course we want active members too,” added Mairéad.
Newly signed up members and those interested in joining are especially welcome to attend our social which is taking place in a city centre pub on Friday April 6th at 7pm. To book your place please email email@example.com.
5 Reasons to join Galway Cycling Campaign
·Be socially part of your local cycling community
·Add your voice to much needed campaigns to improve Galway’s cycling infrastructure
·Use your skills for a good cause
·Get up to speed on current cycling issues
·Do your bit for climate change
Anyone interested can join by following this link:
Country must stop building the wrong roads in the wrong places
The Galway Cycling Campaign is supporting concerns expressed this week that motorway proposals associated with the National Planning Framework will damage regional development and hurt regional communities. Several news outlets reported this week that Professor of Economics at DCU, Dr Edgar Morgenroth, is advising that proposals for a €850 million Limerick – Cork motorway would undermine the proper growth of “second tier” cities in Ireland. In Galway, there is a view on the ground that the recently opened Gort to Tuam motorway has actually made traffic congestion worse.
Over the summer the Galway Cycling Campaign expressed concern about the impact of motorway projects in a submission to the Citizens Assembly consultation on Climate Change. Referring to “the great Irish motorway mistake” the Campaign submission pointed out how the Netherlands, Denmark or Germany had “unravelled” roads so arterial through-traffic is separated from local traffic. This is how these countries got the space for cycle facilities and improved walking and cycling conditions. Roads are not just treated as systems for catering for cars. Instead they have a range of potential functions and are managed accordingly. Most important is to keep HGVs away from roads used by cyclists and walkers, particularly children. For towns and villages on through-routes there is a need for complete town bypasses or ring roads. This is combined with systems to keep out motor traffic having no business in the area.
At one time this was national policy. The 1998 Irish Roads Needs Study recommended a concentration on town bypasses, upgrading existing links, and classifying roads according to function. If Ireland had followed this policy we would have had a good basis on which to promote walking, cycling and public transport in our towns. Instead what happened was a motorway programme was adopted against best advice both then and now. Scarce resources have been diverted into new motorways at the expense of quality of life for local communities. This has been an enormous mistake.
It is a travesty that over half a billion euro has been spent on the M17/M18 motorway in Galway while places like Claregalway, Clarinbridge/Kilcolgan and Moycullen are left without bypasses and are still poisoned by traffic that has no business being there. For a fraction of the money spent on an M17/M18 motorway, it would have been far more effective if bypasses for Claregalway, Clarinbridge and Kilcolgan were built instead of the M17/M18.
The proposed M20 will lead to a failure of the National Planning Framework’s efforts to grow the cities of Cork and Limerick as distributed sprawl will be encouraged. Among towns along the route, such as Mallow and Charleville, ring roads will still be needed for sustainable development. Building the bypasses now would fix many of the problems that the M20 is supposed to fix. The Galway Cycling Campaign believe that the opening of the M17/M18 has already hampered the growth prospects of Galway city under the NPF and has not removed the through-traffic in villages like Claregalway and Clarinbridge.
It is important to note that Galway City is not a candidate for a bypass since Galway clearly does not have a problem with through traffic. Galway is overloaded by car-traffic arriving at Galway City and by internal car traffic created by a poorly managed road system that is hostile to walking, cycling and public transport.
Bikeweek 2009: One of the Cycling Campaign passing distance signs
The Galway Cycling Campaign is circulating a Briefing Note on Minimum Passing Distance Proposals. Minimum Passing Distance Laws (MPDL) are well established in other countries. They are important component of the more cycling-friendly experience people have when visiting places like France or Germany. Since 2008 it has been Galway Cycling Campaign policy to seek minimum passing legislation similar to that found in various other countries. The Oireachtas Committee on Transport Tourism and Sport is due to consider the issue on Wednesday February 7th
Video from France (Grenoble) on how to pass Cyclists
German Driving school video on how to overtake cyclists =
the instructor can be heard telling the student she must lift her foot off the accelerator and must leave a metre and a half
Video of overtaking behaviour in Berlin
There are two MPDL proposals relating to cycling before the Oireachtas at the moment. The bills follow a template established in other countries that specifies 1m as a minimum passing distance where the speed limit is 50km/h or lower and a passing distance of 1.5m where higher speed limits apply.
Road Traffic (Minimum Passing Distance of Cyclists) Bill 2017: A private members bill proposed by government ministers Ciarán Cannon, FG Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development and Regina Doherty, FG Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection. This bill received all-party approval at its First Stage reading in the Dáil.
The Road Traffic (Amendment Bill) 2017 A government bill to increase the penalties for drivers with alcohol levels of between 50mg and 80mg per 100ml of blood. An amendment to this bill by Fianna Fáil also provides for a Minimum Passing Distance of cyclists by drivers of motor vehicles.
Unfortunately, the proposals have been met with much ill-informed speculation. Spurious concerns have been raised with regards to difficulties with enforcement. One answer to this is that traffic laws do not have to be “enforceable” to have an important effect. We discuss the general obligation regarding speed (Article 7) which stipulates that drivers should not drive faster than their ablity to stop within the visible space in front of them. Some contributors have tried to frame the discussion in terms of special clothing such as polystyrene foam cycling helmets and high-visibility clothing. This is seen as an attempt to dilute the obligation regarding speed and as an attempt to excuse dangerous driving. The other issue with enforcement is that it is entirely possible and police forces around the world are doing it. Questions have also arisen with regards to how this law might work with regard to existing traffic legislation and particular Irish road features. We explore the position of stakeholders such as the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport by examining the recent controversy over slow zone signage. In other countries people who walk are also protected by minimum passing distance laws. We explore this and also the failure of the Irish state to provide formal duties of care towards vulnerable road users by drivers. We compare and contrast the treatment of child safety by Irish state actors with the treatment of the issue elsewhere. In Ireland state actors seem focused on making small children responsible for risks created by adults. Elsewhere adults are expected to modify their behaviour in the presence of children. The difficulties thrown up by the intervention of Robert Troy TD are explored. It is hard to square Mr. Troy’s intervention with some of his previous statements that are hostile to cycling. In particular Mr. Troy has called for normal cycling in ordinary clothes to be criminalised. Finally we deal with the issue of Australia. Some contributors have tried to cite Australia as an example to follow. This is clearly not acceptable in the light of cycling-hostile policies found in Australia – particularly their cycle-helmet laws. Australia’s cycle helmet laws are viewed as a public health disaster and, based on Australia’s experience, helmet laws are strenuously opposed by cyclists in Europe and elsewhere.
Overall the MPDL proposals are welcome. However, there is real cause for concern that there might be an attempt to attach the MPDL proposals to a push to criminalise normal walking and cycling by requiring unusual items of clothing such as polystyrene foam cycling helmets or so-called high-visibility clothing. If any attempt like this is made then it should be resisted forcefully.
Galway Cycling Campaign will attend the Galway Volunteer Fair this Sunday.
The Campaign will have a stand at the event. Anyone who is interested in joining Galway Cycling Campaign
is encouraged to attend and meet existing members. New members will be able to join
on the day.
The Volunteer Fair takes place in the Galway Bay Hotel from 2pm to 5pm on Sunday January 26th 2018.
He responded to GCC, saying, “At this particular Joint Policing Committee in November 2017, the issue of cycling was discussed as part of a wider conversation on road safety and should not be taken as a legal interpretation of the legislation you have correctly quoted.”
Here is a photo of the letter:
The Galway Cycling Campaign is to seek clarification from the Gardai regarding statements at variance with the law reported from a recent County Joint Policing Committee (JPC). In its November 10th edition the Connacht Tribune ran a story reporting that Chief Superindentant Tom Curley had claimed before the JPC that it is unlawful in Ireland for cyclists to cycle side-by-side. He is further reported to have made comments regarding risking life and limb in passing cyclists.
The Galway Cycling Campaign understands the traffic law in Ireland to be as follows.
1. There is a primary duty of care on all road users under Article 67 of the the Roads Act 1993 to avoid personal injury or injury to others. There is also a duty to avoid damage to property including personal property.
2. Under the traffic and parking regulations (SI 182/1997) overtaking may not be carried out in a manner that creates risks to others.
3. Under the traffic regulations, cyclists are entitled to cycle in twos side by side. Two cyclists who are cycling side by side may be overtaken by a third cyclist. Cyclists who are cycling side by side and need to overtake other traffic should go in single file to do so.
In our understanding this means that people on bicycles are not obliged in law to permit others to act in a way that places the cyclist’s person or their property in danger. Such as inviting unsafe overtaking manoeuvres at unsuitable locations – of which there are many on Irish roads. On many narrow roads, if it is not possible to overtake two cyclists safely without using the other lane, then the same applies to single cyclists. A key piece of advice for all cyclists is to avoid getting too close the edge of the road. This is due to the danger caused by poor road surfaces and hazards such as drainage grates. Cycling safely requires taking adequate road space. Overtaking cyclists safely also requires taking adequate space. Furthermore there is a view among those cyclists who train in groups that going side by side makes overtaking by other drivers safer and easier by shortening the length of road needed. Clearly like other vehicle operators cyclists need to be mindful and considerate of others and avoid causing obstructions without due cause. However whenever there is a tension between safety and courtesy safety must come first.
67.—(1) It shall be the duty of a person using a public road to take reasonable care for his own safety and for that of any other person using the public road.
(2) It shall be the duty of a person using a public road to take all reasonable measures to avoid—
(a) injury to himself or to any other person using the public road,
(b) damage to property owned or used by him or by any other person using the public road.
Traffic and Parking Regulations SI 182/1997
It states as follows:
Article 47 Pedal Cyclists
47. (1) A pedal cyclist shall not drive a pedal cycle on a roadway in such a manner as to result in more than two pedal cyclists driving abreast, save when overtaking other pedal cyclists, and then only if to do so will not endanger, inconvenience or obstruct other traffic or pedestrians.
(2) Pedal cyclists on a roadway shall cycle in single file when overtaking other traffic.
Article 10 Overtaking
10. (1) A driver shall not overtake, or attempt to overtake, if to do so would endanger, or cause inconvenience to, any other person.
(2) A driver shall not overtake, or attempt to overtake, unless the roadway ahead of the driver—
( a ) is free from approaching traffic, pedestrians and any obstruction, and
( b ) is sufficiently long and wide to permit the overtaking to be completed without danger or inconvenience to other traffic or pedestrians.
Traffic: “traffic” does not include pedestrians;
Quotes attributed to Superintendent Tom Curly in City Tribune edition of 10 November
Article: In a spin over cyclists
Sub head: Two bikes side by side on road is illegal Joint Policing Committee meeting told.
By Denise McNamara
Chief Superintendent Curley said one bike was entitled to cycle on a road – not two. “One thing that happened in the Celtic Tiger is we lost our patience. There’s been more examples of verbal altercations – nearly going to fisticuffs – over cyclists. Sunday morning is a particular issue. The man [a questioner from the floor] then reiterated his point: “So cyclists are not allowed cycle two abreast?” “No,” replied, the Divisional Garda chief, “One.”
Another member of the public said Judge Mary Devins had thrown out a prosecution in Westport District Court in connection with a cyclist. “It was announced by Judge Devins that we were the only country in Europe which hasn’t a law in place regulating bicycles.” He remarked. Chief Supt Curley said it was hard enough to pass one bike. “But multiples of two, you’re definitely risking life and limb passing more than one … it is single file from where I’m sitting”
Galway Cycling Campaign is a voluntary group which represents cyclists in Galway. We promote cycling as a common and accessible form of transport with the goal of creating a more liveable Galway for everyone.