Cycling on the Prom

Hi all,

The following is an account of what happened to my friend and I while cycling the section of the prom behind the Golf Range this morning at 8.30am

As many of you will know, the knocknacarra-salthill road is extremely busy in the morning times with commuter and ‘the-dropping-the-kids-to-school’ traffic.

The footpaths are too narrow to allow pedestrians and cyclists, and the road is too narrow to safely cycle alongside the motorists…so as an alternative, we chose to take the quieter coastal section of the prom to avoid this dangerous traffic, and took the road down by the caravan parks and golfing range, that leads to black rock.

As we turned down this road, we noticed four other cyclists ahead of us…who were probably thinking the same thing…avoid the traffic, and take the longer, but safer approach…

Well, to cut a long story short, we were met by two very irate ‘early morning walkers’, about half way along the section.

They proceeded to shout at us, telling us that we had no right to be cycling on the prom, and that there are signs everywhere telling us this.

We were on our way to work, but stopped to see what all of the fuss was about…as we were causing no trouble to them, and could have gone on about our cycle, but instead turned back to hear their side of the argument.

It turned out that one of the walkers was struck by a cyclist on the paved section of the prom on the previous day, and she was obviously venting her anger at the next set of cyclists she met along the prom.

We said that we were sorry that a cyclist had hit her, and told her that it wasn’t our fault, and not to be getting upset with us.

They were both fuming at us, with one of them yelling “you’ve absolutely no right to be here, we’ve been walking here for the passed 5 years!”

I never heard such rubbish. What a silly argument.

We were disgusted at their attitude in that they couldn’t possibly conceive of both pedestrians and cyclists SHARING this space.

They then proceeded to say “…and I bet you’re gonna cycle on the prom when you get there too?”

…to appease them, we said we weren’t…but in hindsight, I wish I’d said “yeah, why shouldn’t we…there’s nobody out walking the prom at this hour!”

So, that was that, and we went on about our day. We cycled the prom, and I plan on cycling the prom every morning (not evenings as it’s too busy).



PS – As cyclists, I can empathise with this walker, as some cyclists are very aggressive when cycling the prom, but taking this out on random cyclists is ridiculous. It has, however, forced me to sign up to this site and post this comment in the hope that a debate on this issue can take place here. I am new to this site, so apologies of a similar debate is already taking place in another thread.

Based on the above, what do you, my fellow Galway cyclists, think of:

A) Our right to cycle the prom (even if only during morning commuter times?)
B) Our ability to lobby the Galway City Council to paint a white line along the prom allowing cyclists, bladers etc all of the time?

All comments welcome.






4 responses to “Cycling on the Prom”

  1. fiona Avatar


    In response to your questions above, I completely agree that there should be consessions made for cyclists to use pedestrian pathways, such as the prom, during the morning commuter hour (8-9am). Particularly, as I have never seen more than a maximum 10 people in total on the length of the prom (and rarely if ever anyone on the upper section you mention) at that time of the day.

    Surely, the walkers you mention above are at the same risk from anyone moving at a faster speed than them (i.e. runners, roller bladers) and not only cyclists. The point is that you take due care, and caution. If they cannot understand that we all share limited resources, they might practice random acts of kindness at their environmentally-conscious-cycling-brethern, rather than spewing their vile bile. I certainly don’t rant at the pedestrians I note walking on the cycle lane along South Park. A bit of courtsey and respect please!

    With reference to your second question as to the ability to lobby for a space on the prom for faster moving folk (wheeled or well-heeled), I’ve no idea. It is very tight getting through on the roadway there, particularly when cars are parked . I think it’s a great idea. Thoughts anyone else?

    Does anyone have access to any reports or surveys done on the numbers of people commuting by car and bike in Galway to schools or work?

  2. oonidh Avatar

    There is some data from the 96 Census in the facts section of the GCC Website. The latest Census 2006 data – some reports are available from I dont have any idea how to get the detailed facts on commuting statistics for Galway City/County for Bike Usage. Any idea folks?

    Personally I dont cycle on Footpaths; but it should not be banned on the Prom(or pedestrianised streets) as long as cyclists are going slowly and showing consideration to pedestrians. I cycle everywhere on the roads in Galway City bar the so called “Cycle Path track” on the Ring Road around the city.

  3. Stephanie Avatar

    I’ll be visiting from overseas so I shall not even press my luck — that is, I shall do what the (extremely scarce) signs say. If I’m to avoid the kiss of death and ever ride on the prom, I’ll leave the debate to the locals. I teach my daughter to question the pro quo but when a tourist in someone’s home, those bets are off!

  4. Michael Diskin Avatar
    Michael Diskin

    There seems to be some confusion here – the path along by the golf links is clearly marked for cyclists and pedestrians. The’prom’ from Blackrock in towards town is a footpath with several signs indicating that cycling is prohibited. Cycling on any footpath is illegal under the Road Traffic Act unless you are accessing a driveway. As with most things though in Ireland there is no enforcement – unlesst there is enforcement Paddy will flout the law.

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