The Galway Cycling Campaign has called for bikes to be carried on bus services as one of a range of suggestions made on the city’s Bus study. The study is being carried out by Booz Allen Hamilton consultants to identify a future path for the Galway’s public transport services and the deadline for submissions closed on Tuesday.
The cyclists highlight the common practice elsewhere of facilitating the carriage of cycles on buses. They claim this has the potential to benefit both cyclists and the public transport service by opening up access to locations that are both too far to cycle but not within walking distance of bus routes. The cyclists provide an overview of a range of cities and bus services across the globe where bicycle carriage is permitted on buses both internally and via externally mounted racks. The examples include:
* Kassel: Germany
* Geneva, Basel, Zurich: Switzerland
* Copenhagen: Denmark
* San Francisco and Santa Cruz: California
* Seattle: Washington
* Portland, Eugene: Oregon
* Vancouver: Canada
The provision of appropriately designed bus/cycle lanes is welcomed by the cyclists who view bus/cycle lanes as being the best type of “cycle lanes”, the use of shared bus/cycle lanes is widespread elsewhere. In Galway, they anticipate that on many routes, bus/cycle lanes will be possible in one direction only. However, they say that it is essential that this doesn’t occur by using excessively narrow lane widths on the other side of the road. As this will adversely effect safety and access for cyclists travelling in the opposite direction.
Finally, the cyclists point out that in Galway, roundabouts represent a major infrastructural deficit facing bus operators, pedestrians as potential bus passengers and cyclists. They point out that uncontrolled roundabouts are deemed to be incompatible with modern bus priority systems, which use detectors and traffic signals to give priority to buses. They are calling for the bus study to be used as an opportunity for identifying remedial works for Galway’s roundabouts and restoring access to the city for all travel modes.