Facts About Cycling in Galway

Vulnerable Road Users in Galway*

Age Class
% Equiv. of 1996 population
Total population of the city
Children Age 0-14
Children in Secondary School

Third Level Students

  • GMIT 3,839
  • NUI, Galway 8,450
Persons over 65

*Data from 1996 Census and Atlas of
Galway, secondary school figures are for 1998, third level for 1999/2000

Travel by vulnerable modes in Galway

The 1996 census lists following proportions
for trips to school, college and work by the vulnerable modes in
Galway city (foot, cycle and motor cycle)

    • Travel by vulnerable modes: Trips to School

      • Children Aged 5-12:                         37.4

      • Students Aged 13-18:                      47.7

    • Travel by vulnerable modes: Trips to College

      • Students Aged 19 and over:      
             81.5 %

    • Travel by vulnerable modes: Trips to Work

      • Persons at work aged 15 and over: 30.0 %

Parking in Galway

  • There are at least 10 “no bicycles” signs in Eyre Square, there
    is one municipal bike rack.   It has eleven spaces
    and is of a “wheel gripper” design that can damage bicycles
    and leaves them vulnerable to theft or vandalism.  In a
    1998 submission the GCC requested it’s removal, in 2001 it’s
    still there.

  • Recently the Corporation installed a different, but still unapproved, rack design in
    the Maingurd St, Spanish Arch areas, these allow the frame to
    be locked but do not properly support upright bicycles which fall
    over. The design has also been identified as a trip hazard to

  • There are 1,000 “on street” and 3,000 “off street” car parking
    spaces in Galway city.

Galway’s Roads Network 

  • Galway Corporation has imposed road and junction types with
    a design speed of 60 mph or higher at locations where the stated
    speed limit is 30 mph and where there is mixed traffic of all

  • There are currently 13 multilane roundabouts in the City, the
    accident rate for cyclists on these roundabouts is 14 to 16
    times that of motorists. The accident rate for motorcyclists
    is only slightly lower than that of cyclists.  A national
    study on Irish roundabouts from 1987 raises serious reservations
    about using them where high numbers of two wheelers are expected.
     A Foras Forbatha report in 1979 raised the issue of the
    safety of cyclists in Galway and the roundabouts that were then
    proposed for the city.  Galway corporation was fully aware
    of these issues when they built a further five roundabouts on
    the new Western Distributor road.  More roundabouts are
    planned for the Seamus Quirke rd.

  • Even within predominantly residential areas Galway Corporation
    has a policy of actually specifying the use of road junction designs
    that unnecessarily endanger and inconvenience pedestrians and

  • It is corporation policy to impose “cycleways” of a design
    that results in a baseline 50% increase in the rate of car/bicycle
    collisions. (Rising to a tenfold (x10) increase in some circumstances).

  • There are only 14 signal controlled junctions Galway City, not
    all of these signalised junctions include pedestrian phases. There
    are only 10 signalised pedestrian crossings

  • At some specific locations in the city any cyclist who attempts
    to use the “cycleways” in the manner directed by the accompanying
    signs can expect to incur a tenfold (x10) increase in the risk
    of car/bicycle collision.

  • There are no fixed speed cameras anywhere in Galway City or
    County.  In fact to our knowledge there are no fixed speed
    cameras anywhere in the west of Ireland.

  • Galway Corporation has an established practice of refusing
    to implement road safety measures such as traffic calming even
    when specifically requested by local residents.

  • There are 130 miles of roads in Galway City, up until 2000 there
    was only one road (Murrough Avenue) that had any (2) municipally
    provided speed ramps.

  • At least one major cycling tour operator refuses to bring groups
    to Galway City by bicycle on grounds of road danger.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.