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