Lunchtime webinar / Safer Roads, Safer Cities, Better Lives: The view from Europe and the UN

Lunchtime webinar / Safer Roads, Safer Cities, Better Lives: The view from Europe and the UN

Decisions made by the European Commission and the UN have an impact on the road design and safety of our urban roads, residential streets, and bóithirín. Insights into the impact of the lockdown on road safety from across Europe will be discussed as well as ideas for how we deal with a transition out of it. 

Lower speed limits and 30kmph zones are hot topics right now after recent public consultations in Galway and Dublin – and the UN. 

Our guests from Europe will share how and why safe walking and cycling infrastructure and reducing speeds must be at the heart of our transport and mobility evolution.

  • Matthew Baldwin, the first European Coordinator for Road Safety and Sustainable Mobility. Deputy DG MOVE at European Commission
  • Ellen Townsend, Policy Director at the European Transport Safety Council
  • Rod King MBE, Founder and Campaign Director of 20’s Plenty for Us / Love30

>Register for Safer Roads, Safer Cities, Better Lives lunchtime webinar here<<

Comments from our guest speakers

I’m delighted to be joining this webinar in Galway to chat about road safety, sustainable mobility and the importance of good infrastructure and speed management from the EU perspective.” – Matthew Baldwin, Deputy DG MOVE

On behalf of ETSC, I hope I can share some of our insights into the impact of the lockdown on road safety from across Europe as well as our ideas for how we deal with a transition out of it. Investing in safe cycling and walking infrastructure and reducing speeds must be at the heart of this mobility evolution.” – Ellen Townsend, ETSC

It’ll be great to talk. The General Assembly of the UN has just endorsed the concept of 30kmph being the default urban/ village speed limit. I am pleased to share how countries are setting 30kmph as a national default.” – Rod King MBE

Webinar details

The webinar will be recorded and shared on the Galway Cycling Campaign’s website and YouTube channel.

Please join us from 12.50 for a prompt 1pm start.

This webinar is aimed at local and national policymakers, place makers, political representatives, academics, people interested in liveable neighbourhoods, representatives from the business community, community groups, and representatives of the cycling community. 

The conversation will identify local challenges and opportunities as well as demonstrating some practical examples from across Europe. 

Guests can join in the conversation using the Chat and ask questions through the Q&A functions throughout the presentations.

There will be an opportunity for audience Q&A at the end of the session.

>>Register here for Safer Roads, Safer Cities, Better Lives lunchtime webinar<<.

Bike Week 2020

This event is organised by the Galway Cycling Campaign and funded through a Bike Week 2020 grant awarded by Galway City Council.

Bike Week is a Government of Ireland initiative, under the broader Active Travel initiative.

Galway cyclists call for lower speed limits

Galway needs to follow the example of Wales and decrease its speed limits for urban areas from 50km/h to 30km/h. All welcome to our online public meeting with Gwenda Owen of Cycling UK- Wales.

Galway city council is currently in the process of a public consultation about revising speed limit bye-laws throughout the city and Kevin Jennings, chairperson of Galway Cycling Campaign, believes that Galway should be inspired by the Welsh Government’s report that is recommending 30km/h replace 50km/h as the default speed limit on urban roads throughout the country and should embrace the benefits of slower speeds.

If the legislation is passed, Wales will become the first country in the world to reduce the default speed limit for urban areas to 20mph.

He said: “If someone is struck by a vehicle at 30km/h, their chance of survival is up to 97 per cent. This decreases with every kilometre driven faster.

There is also evidence that injuries are reduced when 30km/h limits are introduced and that 30km/h limits lead to more walking and cycling and lower noise levels. It’s more important now than ever to have safer streets and spaces for walking and cycling.

“A lower citywide speed limit would be life-changing because slower speeds will improve the places where we live, work, and go to school. We saw during lockdown that people were encouraged to walk and cycle more because they felt safer doing so.

“We look forward to working with Galway City Council to support lower speeds limits. We are happy to see public support for citywide lower speed limits from An Garda Chief Superintendent Tom Curley and chair of the Joint Policing Committee, Cllr Níall McNelis.”

Gwenda Owen, Cycling UK – Wales

On Friday 7 August, between 7.30pm and 9.30pm, the advocacy group will host its monthly meeting online via Zoom with Gwenda Owen of Cycling UK – Wales the special guest speaker.

Owens has played a significant role creating public support for the benefits of slower speeds in cities, towns, and villages by working closely with grassroots and community organisations and sat on the Welsh Government’s Walking and Cycling Action Plan Steering Group, which produced the Walking and Cycling Strategy for Wales in 2014.

Spokesperson for Galway Cycling Campaign Martina Callanan said; “The majority of our primary and secondary schools, primary care centres, community centres, and sports grounds are in our suburbs, outside the inner city zone, as well as Galway University Hospital, Bon Secours and Merlin Park hospital campuses, and GMIT.

“These are places that many people arrive at by foot and bike. Lower speed limits will make it safer, healthier, and much more pleasant, to choose active travel.”

Email [email protected] for the online Zoom link.

Read the story on Galway Advertiser

Chief Superintendent supports 30km/h speed limit for safer cycling in Galway city

Chief Superintendent Tom Curley gave his support to reduce Galway city speed limit to 30 km/h to make streets safer for everyone at the Joint Policing Committee today, Monday. He was responding to a question from Cllr Níall McNelis, chair of the Joint Policing Committee, who asked for garda support to make Galway’s streets safer for families and older people walking and people cycling. The Chief Superintendent said that a 30 km/h speed limit was already being discussed to improve safety for cycling and is supported by Inspector Peter Conlon and Superintendent Damien Flanagan.

Galway Cycling Campaign warmly welcomes support from the Garda and the Chair of Joint Policing Committee, Níall McNelis, for a 30 km/h speed limit for safer cycling and safer streets for people of all ages and abilities.

This comes after a public meeting last week about the benefits of lower speed limits hosted by Galway Cycling Campaign, which was addressed by Prof Kevin Leyden of NUI Galway, Maria Delaney of Noteworthy, and Mairéad Forsythe of Love 30. Rod King, founder and campaign director of 20’s Plenty for Us, attended the online meeting and said that he will address the annual Road Safety Authority conference in the autumn.

Love 30 to Change Our Streets, a public event about the benefits of lower speed limits, was hosted online by the Galway Cycling Campaign on Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Spokesperson Martina Callanan said lower city speed limits are becoming more common in European cities such as Athens, Milan and Brussels and thanked the Garda for their support.

Slower speeds will give parents peace of mind to bring small children into the city centre to shop and dine, when children play and cycle outside their homes, and as children and teenagers walk and cycle to school. We want to thank An Garda for their support for lower speeds to make Galway a safer and nice place to live, shop, and play.

Martina Callanan, spokesperson for Galway Cycling Campaign

Mairéad Forsythe of Love 30, Ireland’s campaign for lower speed limits, was in attendance at today’s meeting. She commented on the Chief Superintendent’s remarks.

Introducing a 30 km/h speed limit would be a significant achievement for road safety in Galway. It will make our roads safer for people walking, cycling and driving. Most important of all, slower streets make our neighbourhoods more pleasant places to live, work and for children to play.

Mairéad Forsythe of Love 30

Chairperson of Galway Cycling Campaign, Kevin Jennings, also attended and warmly welcomed the support of An Garda for slower speed limits.

The typical road speed limit of 50 km/h does not feel fast if you are behind a windscreen. The research is stark: speed is the biggest contributing factor to road deaths in Ireland. If a person walking is hit by a person driving a car at 50 km/h, there is a 50% chance that person will die. At 60 km/h – that’s only 10 km faster – 9 in 10 pedestrians will die.

Kevin Jennings, chairperson of the Galway Cycling Campaign

He added, “Slower speed limits have an added benefit of improving traffic flow. Scientific models show motor traffic flowing more steadily at lower speeds in congested networks.”

A city with safe streets is one where children can walk, cycle and play

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.