Cycle Bus recognised as international changemakers

The Galway Cycle Bus is delighted to announce it has been invited to join the ChangeX community. The Knocknacarra-based initiative promotes active travel for school children by experienced volunteers, parents and teachers escorting children to school by bike at various ‘pick up’ points in housing estates en route from Cappagh Road to Knocknacarra NS and Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh near Millers Lane.

ChangeX provides turnkey solutions for companies investing in communities worldwide. It is a platform that gets proven ideas and funding directly to anyone ready to lead impactful projects in their communities. The Galway Cycle Bus joins Irish Men’s Sheds and Playworks Ireland in the ChangeX community. 

The Galway Cycle Bus’s step-by-step 51-page guide to creating a cycle bus has been used by families and schools across Ireland from Dublin to Leitrim and Limerick. It is now available online to an international community. 

‘We’re thrilled to have been asked to join the ChangeX platform and we hope that other communities all over Ireland and abroad will use our Cycle Bus experience and  to create similar initiatives facilitating more active travel for primary school children,” said Alan Curran, parent, teacher, and co-organiser. “We also welcome financial and in-kind support from local businesses.”

“Cycling to school with your classmates and neighbours is an ordinary thing yet absolutely fun. We start off every day brimming with joy. It’s just great,” said Neasa Bheilbigh, also a local parent, teacher, and co-organiser. “Our Galway Cycle Bus continues to grow and it’s wonderful that from now it will bring even more communities across the world together.” 

July Stimulus can change Galway cityscape: bike racks will be like wildflowers – popping up everywhere

Our chairperson Kevin Jennings outlines what the ‘big pot of July Stimulus mobility funding’ can do to create jobs and #ChangeOurStreets

Bike parking and flowers from West Midlands Big Summer of Cycling and Walking campaign, funded by Transport for West Midlands in order to keep the region moving during the COVID-19 recovery phases and beyond.

The government’s July Stimulus programme has created opportunities to quickly change our streets by creating more facilities for people who walk, wheel and cycle, according to the Galway Cycling Campaign. With funding available from the National Transport Authority, local contractors can be hired to implement shovel-ready projects, and so immediately boost employment while making  safer streets. 

“We understand that the big pot of July Stimulus mobility funding will fully cover the provision of new cycle tracks, bike parking, reducing road widths at crossing points and raised zebra crossings,” says chairperson Kevin Jennings.

“The public engagement process during the first City Mobility Team’s tenure showed overwhelming support for the need for more public space to walk to the local shops, cycle to GAA training, and go about  daily business throughout the city.”

“We hope to see bike parking racks pop up everywhere, like wildflowers. Anywhere there is a bike tied to a pole, that shows the need for secure and shelter bicycle parking. We encourage local shops, supermarkets, cafés and restaurants to ask the Council to install bike racks at their businesses. Bicycles should never obstruct footpaths.”

Relevant legislation gives Council Executives power to be quick and nimble in reallocating road and street space. Ne

#iBikeSalthill

“Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s vision and ambition to reallocate public space in order to support residents and local businesses is inspiring,” says Mr Jennings. 

“We understand from our councillors that the Salthill Cycleway is still a possibility within reach. We have written to the Council to suggest that they make contact with DLRCC and arrange a tour for some Council and business representatives to examine the two-way cycleway from Blackrock to Sandycove via Dublin’s Salthill to see first-hand what is possible. DLRCC and local businesses have worked closely together and residents and visitors are reaping the benefits.”

Neasa Bheilbigh and her son MacDara. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Neasa Bheilbigh of the Galway School Cycle Bus says,” With the imminent reopening of schools and public health advice continuing to recommend walking and cycling where possible, many parents will want an alternative to families cocooning in their cars at school gates.”

She continues, “July Stimulus funds specifically provide money for reducing road widths at crossing points and raised zebra crossings, which will help children cross roads more safely on their school routes in the city centre and suburbs.” 

“We suggest that schools and parents contact their local councillors to make requests to the Council for safer routes to school.”

Read the story in the Galway Advertiser, 13 August 2020

Back on the saddle – CycleCoffeeCake pedals to Renmore this August Bank Holiday weekend

CycleCoffeeCake pedals off again this August bank holiday weekend on Saturday 1 August at 10.30am from the Huntsman Inn, College Road. The route will explore quiet and calm routes to and through Renmore, Ballyloughnane beach, and Roscam.

The first CycleCoffeeCake event pedalled from Nimmo’s Pier in the Claddagh to Blackrock and finished and Ground & Co Salthill.

CycleCoffeeCake is a gentle social cycle event for adults of all ages and abilities. People who are new cyclers, nearly-new or who have returned to cycling during coronavirus lockdown are particularly welcome.

For contact tracing purposes, participants must register in advance for CycleCoffeeCake here.

The cycle will last about one hour and end at a local café for coffee, cake and chats.

The Galway CycleBus will host a family cycle in Renmore with more later in August so parents who are considering cycling with their children to Scoil Caitríona and Scoil Dara in just a few weeks time may find that CycleCoffeeCake gives them the boost of confidence they want to feel able and safe cycling within their neighbourhood.

Organiser Martina Callanan says that a remarkable two thirds of participants of CycleCoffeeCake events this summer are women who are new to cycling or have hopped back on the saddle after years, or decades, of absence.

Women are the reason we have a bike boom this summer. It’s almost impossible to buy a new or second hand bike in Galway. Mammies have rediscovered their own joy and freedom in cycling after spending time with their children on bikes during lockdown.

Many want to feel confident again on bikes, and CycleCoffeeCake events shows them quiet routes in their neighbourhoods as well as access to a community of people who want cycling to be a very real and safe option for everyday transport. “

Neasa Bheilbigh of the Galway CycleBus in Knocknacarra says that many parents want their children to cycle to school.

Cycling is quick and independent transport, which saves parents time, and is easy exercise for young people. As we prepare to go back to school, mums, parents and caregivers want safe and quiet cycle routes for their children and teenagers. CycleCoffeeCake is a great way for parents to regain their own confidence on bikes.

Eqre Square is about 12-18 minutes by bike from Renmore and 24-30 minutes from Roscam. Travels times are based on a gentle pace of 16kmph and include wait times at junctions.

Love 30 to Change Our Streets

World Bicycle Day saw cross-party support for 30 km/h speed limits for Dublin’s city centre and suburbs. We expect Galway to follow suit. Join us for a special guest speaker event this Wednesday, 17 June 2020, from 8 pm to 9 pm about how lower speed limits will make a happier and healthier Galway with investigative journalist Maria Delaney from Newsworthy, Mairéad Forsythe of Love 30 – Ireland’s campaign for lower speed limits, and Prof Kevin Leyden of NUI Galway. Event open to all.

Noteworthy and Love 30 – Ireland’s campaign for lower speed limits join with Galway Cycling Campaign for a special event on the benefits of lower speed limits.

Two weeks ago on World Bicycle Day there was cross-party support for 30 km/h speed limits for Dublin’s city centre and suburbs. Today, Monday 15 June, we expect Galway City Council to announce a similar intention.

This one change to our streets will have an immediate impact on improving road safety. It will also make cycling and walking easier and more pleasant for people of all ages and abilities. 

Lower speed limits will enable road redesign and so with narrower road carriageways there will be more space for cycle paths and wider footpaths. Lower speeds reduce the risk of road traffic collisions, reduce the risk of fatalities, and reduce the risk of life-limiting and life-changing injuries.

Hard and Fast Facts about the impact of speed on fatalities – Source: The Road Safety Authority of Ireland (RSA)

More Space and Less Speed are the two principles of our Change Our Streets campaign.

We are delighted to invite you to a special guest speaker event this Wednesday event at 8 pm on Zoom.

Speakers

The Problem – cycling injuries and fatalities

Maria Delaney, investigative journalist with Noteworthy, a project of TheJournal.ie – Bicycle Blackspots Ireland, part 2: Galway’s Headford Road (April 2019)

The Solution – 30 km/h speed limits in our cities and towns

Mairéad Forsythe, Love 30, Ireland’s campaign for lower speed limits

The Benefits – happier, healthier and safer streets within people-centered communities

Kevin Leyden, Professor of Political Science, Co-Director of the Creative, Liveable and Sustainable Communities Cluster of the Whitaker Institute

Event details

This Wednesday, 17 June 2020
8 pm to 9 pm
‘Doors’ at 7.45 pm
‘Drinks’ afterwards until 9.30 pm

Zoom details

Join Zoom meeting at this link
Meeting ID: 826 4005 1920
Password: 320894
All welcome

Change Our Streets

Less Speed is the second principle of #ChangeOurStreets campaign. We need our Council and Government to lower speed limits and redesign roads to enable adherence to lower speeds. 

Less Speed supports the More Space principle of re-allocating road space to people walking and cycling. 

Join Galway Cycling Campaign

Our public events are free events and open to all. If you’d like to get involved, please join us and our everyday cycling community. Our membership contribution is €10 or €5. If you would like to donate more, you’d be most welcome!

Galway Cycling Campaign is a group of independent volunteers working to create a bike-friendly city and county for people of all ages and abilities.

Change Our Streets: public meeting via Zoom

How would you like post-lockdown Galway to be?

Galway Cycling Campaign will host our first public information meeting via Zoom tomorrow evening, Tuesday 12 May at 8pm, to crowdsource ideas for our ‘Change Our Streets’ open conversation with Galway City Council.

Tuesday 12 May, 8pm to 9pm
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 850 4519 8216
Password: 548586

‘Doors’ open at 7.45pm.
‘Drinks’ afterwards until 10pm.

A family cycles the traffic-free Dyke Road during coronavirus

We will give an update about the #ChangeOurStreets campaign and we also want your specific suggestions to improve Galway city to facilitate social distancing in residential, recreational, retail areas.

We have ideas – and we want more!

Please test your technology in advance. We are not in a position to give tech support.

We will gather specific suggestions of areas to improve and submit these to Galway City Council. This will deepen our conversation on how we can together ‘Change Our Streets’ to protect the physical well-being and mental health of all residents of all ages and all abilities, especially the very young and those who are vulnerable.