Bicycle Film Night Call for Submission 2015

CFE bike week 2015 banner

Galway Cycling Campaign is calling on all established or budding film directors to submit a short film for its upcoming Bicycle Film Night.

The Bicycle Film Night is a much loved and well established Bike Week event and for the first time ever it is making a call for submissions.

The submission should be a short film (we are looking for films under 20 minutes but we might consider a longer one if we really like it!), and for obvious reasons should include some kind of reference to the wonderful world of bicycles.

If selected, the films will be screened during the Galway Bike Festival 2015 (13th-21st June) and will be submitted to an audience vote.

The deadline is 5 June 2015 so don’t hang around, get filming!

Is your film ready to rock?

Submit your film in two steps:
1. Fill in the submission form:

2. Submit your film via FilmFreeway =>

For more information, contact Charlotte ( or Robert (

Jake’s Legacy – Update law or drop confusing and contradictory road sign.

The Galway Cycling Campaign is calling on Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe to either drop a recently announced road sign or bring Irish traffic law into line with how the same sign is used in international traffic law. The controversy has arisen out of the Minister’s response to a campaign by Jake’s Legacy and other groups seeking lower speed limits in housing estates and residential streets. Calls for a housing estate limit of 20km/h have grown since the death of Jake Brennan in Kilkenny.

The use of such limits where children are playing has been standard elsewhere in Northern Europe for decades. The laws of other countries go further and legally define particular streets as “living streets”, “residential areas” or “play streets”, where children and other pedestrians have legal priority over cars and are legally entitled to use the entire road – playing on the street is permitted and protected by law.

Screenshot_sign_E17a_from_veinna_conv_on_road_signsThe international sign for residential area with pedestrian priority and legal protection for playing children.

In 1993 the legal concept of a residential area with pedestrian priority and a maximum speed of 20km/h was incorporated into international traffic law – the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. Under this UN Convention a sign with pictures of a house, a car and two people playing on the road with a ball indicates a “residential area” (sign E17a). The following countries have the same law and similar or related signage: the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Spain, Belarus, France and Switzerland. The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Austria also specify a speed limit of walking speed in these zones.

Sign as anncounced by the MinisterProposed Irish sign for residential area without pedestrian priority and no specific legal protection for playing children


On 19 March 2015 Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe announced a proposal for “Slow Zones” with a speed limit of 30km/h in residential areas – effectively rejecting international standards. The Minister’s proposal includes a road sign identical to the standard E17a format, but has not announced any supporting legislation to give playing children legal priority or protection. Irish traffic law confines pedestrians to “footways” unless crossing the road. “By using this sign under existing laws the Minister has effectively given it a meaning opposite to common understanding” said Campaign PRO Oisin Ó Nidh.

In a submission to the Minister, the Galway Cycling Campaign points out that Ireland has free travel to and from other European countries. We have a duty to people from other cultures, including children, not to use commonly understood road signs in a way that is confusing and contradicts their original meaning. The Cycling Campaign has called on the Minister to either retract the new road sign or bring Irish traffic law into line with international law.

Galway Cycling Campaign warn Harbour HGV’s could result in increased cycling and pedestrian fatalities

Galway Cycling Campaign support proposal to build new road for HGV’s

There will be a massive increase in the number of HGV’s coming through the city during the construction of the proposed extension to Galway Harbour.

Galway Cycling Campaign is concerned about the impact this substantial upsurge in heavy vehicles will have on the citizens of Galway.
The Environmental Impact Statement estimates that during the first stage of construction there will be 305 HGV movements per day. This is on top of an average of 376 HGV’s that currently pass along Lough Atalia on an average weekday. In total- during operational hours for the harbour construction- it will result in an average of 52 HGV’s clogging up Lough Atalia Road every hour.
Galway Cycling Campaign PRO Oisin O’Nidh commented, “HGV’s are particularly dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. There is a significant body of solid evidence out there which clearly demonstrates the link between HGV’s and increased cyclist and pedestrian fatalities.”

Galway Cycling Campaign support Galway City Council’s proposal to build a special road that follows the route of the railway line which would provide an alternative route for construction traffic. When the harbour is built this road could continue to provide a means for heavy freight to avoid the city centre. Plans for this road are set out in the City Development Plan 2005-2011.
Galway Cycling Campaign members presented their concerns at the An Bord Pleanála oral hearing regarding the proposed extension to Galway Harbour on Thursday January 22nd.

“HGV’s cause a sense of intimidation and fear, and are an unsafe environment for young children. They make the city an unattractive place to walk and cycle, not to mention the noise,” added Mr O’Nidh.

The HGV’s with their heavy loads will be making their way to the harbour along a number of designated routes. Second and third level students will be affected in addition to young children attending primary schools. The following schools and colleges are on the proposed haulage routes: Moneenageisha Community College, Coláiste na Coiribe, GMIT, Holy Trinity Girls and St Michael’s Boys in Mervue, Shantalla NS, Galway Educate Together, St Joseph’s Special NS and St Francis NS.

According to Dublin City Council, between 2002 and 2006 11 cyclists died on the roads; 8 of these people were killed by HGV’s that were making a left turn.

In London, half of the 44 cyclist fatalities between 2011 and 2013 were as a result of a collision with a HGV. Of these 21, ten involved a collision with a left-turning HGV.

To read what we said at the oral hearing, please click here Harbour Oral Hearing (speaking note)

Campaign welcome Bike Share scheme but lament lack of vision

Galway Cycling Campaign has welcomed the launch of the city Bike Share scheme (Coca-Cola Zero Bikes) but has criticised City Hall for failing to maximise on the potential benefits of the milestone event.

As highlighted by the recent online petition by An Mheitheal Rothar, which has over 650 signatures to date, Galway Cycling Campaign has expressed its disappointment with the decision to remove current bike parking facilities in order to make way for the new Coca-Cola Zero docking stations. “Galway is significantly underserved in terms of bike parking facilities and the removal of already limited bike parking is a regretful decision by City Hall. Bike parking and docking stations for the Bike Share scheme can and should exist side by side”, explained Oisin O’ Nidh, Campaign PRO. The Campaign has estimated that 50 parking spaces have been removed in the city centre during the recent installation works.

Mainguard Street bike parking removed to make way for Docking Station

The Coca-Cola Zero Bikes launched on Monday with many unfinished docking stations and two fewer stations than originally planned. The station at Forster Street is to be installed in 2015 under the Fair Green Road Scheme but the planned station on University Road will no longer go ahead. City Hall, in a last minute U-turn, decided to remove one of the three largest docking stations from the entire scheme due to concerns over loss of car parking. “The decision to completely remove a station capable of holding up to 30 bicycles, one of only three of that size, seems to indicate the current priorities of City Hall. UHG and NUIG have lost their primary docking station link to the city centre even before roll out”, said Robert Mc Kenny, Campaign Chair.

The issue of one-way streets has also been highlighted by the local advocacy group. The Jacobs Report, which was the initial feasibility study for the Bike Share Scheme, described Galway as being ‘awkward to navigate by bike’ and recommended providing two-way cycling on one-way streets. The Campaign is quick to point out that this recommendation has not been implemented, “Two-way cycling on one-way streets has been in the City Development Plan for a decade now and The Jacobs Report stressed the importance of this in its Executive Summary. One-way streets lead to long detours for cyclists and we need to do everything we can to make the new Coca-Cola Zero Bikes scheme successful. City Hall have the power to do this”, said Mr. Mc Kenny

Cycling in Galway

This article was written by Stan Carey for the Galway Cycling Campaign. A version of it was published by the Galway Independent for its ‘Inside Out’ column on 4 June 2014.

* * *

People sometimes ask why I cycle around Galway when I have a car, and I’m surprised the answer isn’t obvious. Then I remember there are lots of answers. Cyclists are commonly stereotyped – as lycra-wearing fanatics, cardboard-eating eco-warriors, etc. – but we’re as diverse as any random group of people, and we have countless reasons for cycling and styles of doing so.

One thing that puts people off is the perceived danger, but cycling is a lot safer than it’s made out to be if you have the right skills. And it becomes safer with numbers. All road users need to share the roads respectfully, and above all be patient. Overtaking a cyclist dangerously just to save a few seconds is a nasty thing to do, illegal too, yet it happens all the time. I don’t care how much of a rush you’re in, your time isn’t worth putting someone’s life and well-being at risk.

Not that cyclists are immune from bad behaviour. I see examples every day – like footpath cycling, which I don’t mind when it’s a child or learner taking their time, but when it’s an able-bodied young male zipping by makes me want to lecture and fine them on the spot. Still, it’s nothing to the danger posed by driving at speed, which is rife and inadequately enforced and has helped decimate the number of children and families cycling on city and rural roads in Ireland.

Galway’s size and layout are well-suited to getting around by bike or foot. The city has a proud tradition of cycling, and it wouldn’t take much to make bikes a strong part of its culture again – a bit of promotion, know-how, and political will. The upcoming Greenways and Coke Zero bike rental scheme should help normalise and boost cycling again, following the great successes in Mayo and Dublin.

Like learning to drive, it’s hardest when you’re starting. How can beginners and nervous cyclists develop the confidence and skills to manoeuvre roads that seem so hostile? Know your bike and your capabilities, for starters. Watch and learn from experienced cyclists. Get a copy of the Galway Cycling Campaign’s “Cycling Skills” leaflets, or read John Franklin’s book Cyclecraft in the city library. And practise. It takes time to learn how to read the roads, to anticipate threats, to know when it’s safer to use the centre of a lane and when to keep in. Just give those car doors a wide berth.

Galway’s infrastructure isn’t very cycling-friendly, with its roundabouts, slip roads, poor surfaces, one-way systems, meagre parking, inept cycle lanes, and aggressive emphasis on traffic “flow” rather than safe, accessible, permeable streets. But the benefits more than compensate. JFK was right: Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride. It’s great for mental and physical health. The financial savings are amazing. Parking is easy, even if it often requires lampposts and railings. Traffic jams are irrelevant. (I can’t be the only one bemused by all the empty roads in cars ads.)

Less obviously, cycling brings a real physical quality to a journey. Instead of being cut off from the world around you, you’re immersed in it. You can enjoy its sights and sounds and take in the scenery Galway is blessed with. Feel the sun on your face (if there is any), the wind in your hair (if you have any), the joy of freewheeling downhill. You can stop on a whim to look at something or chat to someone you know. And when you get home you have the satisfaction of having exercised and gotten a good dose of fresh air. Even the weather’s not as bad as you’d think.

Galway Cycling Campaign and Why Not? Adventure Film Festival present “A night of Cycling Shorts”

A Night of Cycling Shorts


Galway Cycling Campaign and Why Not? Adventure Film Festival will present “A Night of Cycling Shorts” in Kelly’s Bar, Bridge Street on Wednesday June 18th at 7.30 pm as part of National Bike Week. The event will showcase the best of Irish and International Bicycle Cinema as up to 2 hours of short films will be screened to celebrate cycling culture.

The selection on the night will feature a diverse, exhilarating and award winning mixture of short films covering topics such as bicycle social entrepreneurship, underground unicycling, epic mountain biking adventuring and a land speed record attempt. & yes, that last sentence did includes the words underground unicycling! The night will also see the screening of the Irish premiere of the 2013 International Cycling Film Festival winner.

There will also be spot prizes and surprises on the night.

The event is free and doors open at 7:00 pm. For more updates “like” the Why Not? Adventure Film Festival and Galway Cycling Campaign Facebook pages and follow the websites: and

Where: Kelly’s Pub (upstairs), Bridge St, Galway City

When: Wednesday June 18th. Doors open at 7pm. Films kick off at 7:30pm

Ticket Price: FREE ENTRY. Limited seating.  First come, first served.

A new bicycle commuting service comes to Galway

A new bicycle commuting service is coming to Galway during National Bike Week. For two days of National Bike Week, Monday 16 June and Wednesday 18 June (National Cycle to Work Day) the BikeBus will provide adult cyclists in Galway with the opportunity to commute to work with other cyclists.

A BikeBus is a collective form of bicycle commuting where a group of cyclists follow a set route and timetable, “picking up” and “dropping off” “passengers” along the way. A BikeBus provides those new to bicycle commuting with a perfect opportunity to commute to work alongside experienced cyclists. The BikeBus also welcomes experienced cycling commuters who may fancy a more convivial ride for the week that is in it. The BikeBus is a fun, healthy and sociable way to get to and from work. We’ve put together a set of FAQs for BikeBus.

The Galway BikeBus will travel from the Knocknacarra Community Centre to the Parkmore Business Park in the morning and return in the evening. The BikeBus will pass by major employers and industrial hubs such as Galway University Hospital, NUIG, Liosban Industrial Estate, Mervue Business Park, Ballybrit Business Park, Briarhill Business Park and Parkmore Business Park. See the maps for the routes at: Galway BikeBus Morning Route (Cappagh Road to Parkmore) and Galway BikeBus Evening Route (Parkmore to Cappagh Road). You can also download the timetable as a PDF (5 Mb)

Make sure you check the route map and timetable below to “catch” the BikeBus. Email to let us know if you want to “get on board”.

Cycling Campaign raises concerns about Fr Griffin Rd proposals.

The Galway Cycling Campaign has raised concerns about proposals to
rearrange the junction at the Fire Station on Fr Griffin Rd. The
proposals are due to come before the City Council meeting on Monday
9th September. The cyclists say this is a key junction, serving
districts with the highest levels of cycling in the city and that the
changes could have negative effects for these road users. They are
calling for cycle lanes to be included in the redesign.

The proposals will convert the one-way section of Fairhill opposite
the Fire Station to two-way use and will allow cars to turn into this
section from Fr Griffin Rd. For the cyclists, the issue is that the
council are proposing to put dedicated right-turn lanes on Fr Griffin
Rd. They say that this will have the effect of pushing the main
traffic queues into the edge of the road thus blocking out cyclists on
a key route into the city. According to the Cycle Campaign, the
changes will have the effect of pushing cyclists up onto the footpaths
to keep moving.

According to Campaign spokesperson Oisin O’Nidh “There

aren’t cycle lanes at this junction but it works well for cyclists at
the moment because motorists using tend to stay in the right hand lane
when queuing at the lights”. He continued “this means there is usually
space for cyclists to keep moving – our reading of the new design is
that it will push cars into this space leaving cyclists with nowhere
to go”. Census data in the draft Galway Walking and Cycling Strategy
show that Salthill, the Taylors Hill area and the Claddagh have the
highest levels of cycling to work. In 2006, 9% of Salthill, 8% of
Taylors Hill residents and 7% of Claddagh residents cycled to work or

education. The junction at the Fire Station is on the direct route
into the city for many of these cyclists. In an alternative proposal
the Galway Cycling Campaign is a calling for cycle lanes to be
provided on Fr Griffin Rd as part of these works.

At today’s (9th of September 2013) City Hall meeting the council will also consider proposals for traffic calming at various locations including Dr. Mannix and Rahoon
Rds. The cycling campaign is in favour of this part of the proposals
and welcomes these measures as creating safer more attractive places
for cycling and walking.

Cycling Campaign welcomes changes to Connemara greenway proposals at oral hearing.

The Galway Cycling Campaign has welcomed changes proposed by Galway County Council to the Oughterard to Clifden Greenway at the An Bord Pleanala oral hearing held in Clifden last week. The cyclists had serious concerns about an initial design that would put a recreational cycle-path directly beside high-speed traffic on the N59 for over 11km. At the hearing, held over two days in the Station House Hotel Clifden, the County Council offered an amended design. The new design would use sections of the old railway line and the old Clifden road to provide an additional 6.35Km away from the N59.

Some of the alternatives brought to the Oral Hearing by Galway Cycling Campaign that where adopted. Routes No 1 and No 4 shown below

The hearing heard some opposition from local landowners, particularly from the Bunscanniff and Glengowla townlands. Keith Geoghegan of Glengowla mines expressed serious concerns about possible ill effects on his business but offered an alternative route through his property away from the old railway track. Some observers expressed the view that visiting tourists should be charged a fee to cross individual land holdings. Mr. Liam Gavin, Senior County Engineer, expressed a preference for following the old Clifden-Galway Railway embankment to the greatest practical extent. Local hoteliers and business owners spoke in favour of the scheme. Mr. Paul Dunne, a Lecturer in Tourism at GMIT spoke in favour of placing the route away from the N59 and cited research on feedback from users of the Great Western Greenway in Mayo. Some contributors took an opposing position arguing for the incorporation of the route into the N59 or of dropping the scheme altogether in favour of investing in local roads.

Evidence was presented at the hearing pointing out that the incorporation of recreational cycle-routes into roads with high-speed traffic is directly contrary to both the 2007 Failte Ireland Tourism Strategy and guidance from the National Trails Office.

According to the cyclists, the overall proposal to develop a 50km Greenway from Oughterard to Clifden, and costed at EU7million, is welcome. If sensitively carried out, the scheme could create a huge asset for the community of West Connemara. They point out that the Western Greenway in Mayo has generated EU7million per year for the local community – indicating significant unmet demand for a particular cycling experience.

An Bord Pleanala recently rejected a Kerry County Council application to put a tourist cycle route directly beside the N86 on the Dingle Peninsula. The Cycle Campaign is hopeful that the eventual Board decision on the Galway greenway may identify further sections of the route that can be taken off road. Even with the changes proposed, 5.15km will still be right beside the traffic on the N59.

Campaign says rejection of controversial Kerry Cycleway proposals good news for Connemara Greenway.

The Galway Cycling Campaign and, Ireland’s National Cycling Lobby Group has welcomed An Bord Pleanala’s rejection of a controversial NRA Cycle path scheme for the N86 in the Dingle peninsula. The road scheme running from Camp to Dingle had attracted particular concern because the designers planned to co-locate a tourist cycling path directly beside high speed traffic for the entire length of the N86 scheme (28km). The rejection of the Kerry proposals echoes concerns raised about the proposed Connemara Greenway which is due to go before an Oral hearing next month in Clifden. The cyclists are hailing the decision as a vindication of the Failte Ireland tourism strategy and National Cycle Policy Framework which is to avoid busy roads.

The Galway Cycling Campaign has lodged an objection to the proposed Connemara Greenway on similar grounds: that the cycle paths are placed directly beside high speed traffic for considerable distances alongside the N59 despite the existence of obvious alternatives. With regard to similar cycle paths in Kerry, the Planning Appeals Board have instructed that they be dropped from the scheme. The grounds given include that the proximity to the carriageway might not offer an attractive recreational route. The Board recommends that alternatives possibly using quieter non-national roads would deliver a more desirable and successful cycleway. The Board have asked the applicants to resubmit a scaled back scheme that seeks to minimise interference with natural features such as hedgerows and tree lines. An Bord Pleanala to hold an oral hearing into the proposed Connemara Greenway on the 11th of December.

The proposal to develop a 50km section of the Connemara Greenway from Oughterard to Clifden is welcome. If sensitively carried out, the scheme could create a huge asset for the community of Connemara. They point out that the Western Greenway in Mayo has generated EU7million per year for the local community – indicating significant unmet demand for a particular cycling experience. However the cyclists say that the current scheme is incorrectly conceived, could fail to achieve its aims and could divert significant resources from more beneficial works. The planning appeals board has been asked to reject the scheme in its current format.

Over the entire 50km, long sections of the proposed scheme conform to the commonly accepted “greenway” concept (i.e. it is routed away from high-speed traffic). However, instead of being maintained as a traffic free greenway for the greatest possible distance, the route is to be incorporated into the existing N59 as a cycle path adjacent to fast moving motor traffic for between 11.7 and 14.6 kilometres or approximately 20% of its length. In the EIS carried out for the scheme, the alternatives to incorporating the cycle route into a high-speed road do not appear to have been given due consideration. Nor does any due consideration appear to have been given on the impacts of such traffic on cyclists – who will theoretically include family groups. Most regrettably, the worst affected section of the route could be considered the most scenic as it passes close to the Maamturks mountain range and the South Bens. It is imperative that an off-road solution be found here so that, rather than being 2meters from vehicles travelling up to 100km, users can fully enjoy and appreciate the spectacular scenery in piece and quiet.

The Cycling Campaign has identified various alternative options that fulfil the greenway model. These include sections where the old Galway to Clifden railway bed is still available and sections of parallel minor roads including the original Galway-Clifden road. The alternatives provide a route away from high-speed traffic where the full benefits of a world class cycling route could be provided. In addition to providing a much more attractive route the alternative proposals avoid the need to CPO lands along the N59 itself.