The group representing Galway cyclists has welcomed
the announcement (Irish Independent 2nd Oct 2007) that
Transport Minister Noel Dempsey plans to publish a
discussion document shortly on sustainable modes of
transport. They also welcome the statement that he is
“aiming to focus some of the thinking on transport
policy on simple, proven measures which benefit both
people’s health and the environment, such as walking,
cycling and using public transport instead of private
However, the Galway Cycling Campaign is also calling
on Transport Minister Noel Dempsey to demonstrate his
good intentions by blocking the controversial
Doughiska and Seamus Quirke roads schemes in Galway on
the grounds that they “demonstrably endanger cyclists
and obstruct cycle access to the city”.
“If the Minister wishes to promote cycling he needs to
ask why the Government is funding the
activities of Galway City Council”, said Cycling
Campaign secretary Oisín Ó Nidh.
“It makes no sense for the Minister to fund current
road schemes that deter cyclists and at the same time
propose to spend more public funds on new measures to
promote cycling. Where is the logic in that, and where
is the value for the taxpayer?”
“We are seeking a meeting with Government TDs Eamon Ó
Cuív, Frank Fahey and Noel Grealish to push for the
blocking of these schemes in their current form,” Mr.
Ó Nidh added.
According to the cyclists, the Council plans for the
Doughiska Road involve a design that has been
repeatedly shown internationally to increase the rates
of the most common types of car/bicycle collisions,
those which occur at junctions. According a site
survey carried out by the cyclists, over sixty
“potential conflict locations” have been identified on
the road in question including 18 side roads and 43
During a recent Council debate on the Doughiska Road
plans, the Director of Services for Transport &
Infrastructure, Mr. Ciarán Hayes, was accused by one
Councillor (Cllr Daniel Callanan Ind) of conducting a
“vendetta against cyclists”.
According to the cyclists the designs proposed for the
Doughiska and Seamus Quirke roads promote cycling
behaviours that are fundamentally unlawful and in
direct conflict with road safety principles, e.g.
cycling on footways, cycling on the right, cycling
through pedestrian boarding areas at bus stops, and
overtaking of left-turning traffic on the left.
“There is no justification for the continued use of
these designs,” Mr. Ó Nidh said. “The Galway Cycling
Campaign puts considerable effort into educating
cyclists in the safe and lawful use of the roads, yet
the City Council seems determined to do exactly the
Pictures of Doughiska Scheme
Explanation of Cycle path Safety issues