Our grand finale to Bike Week 2020 is hosting MOTHERLOAD as a virtual community screening and covideo party. We’re delighted that director Liz Canning will join us for a Q&A on Zoom immediately afterward for a panel discussion with urban liveability and health experts.
This 86 minute documentary from the USA captures a new mother’s quest to understand the increasing isolation and disconnection of modern life, its planetary impact, and how cargo bikes could be an antidote. It won a Sundance Special Jury Prize in 2019.
Film maker Liz Canning cycled everywhere until her twins were born in 2008. Motherhood was challenging and hauling babies via car felt stifling. She googled ‘family bike’ and discovered people using cargo bikes: long-frame bicycles designed for carrying heavy loads. Liz set out to learn more, and MOTHERLOAD was born.
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
“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
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.
Galway Cycling Campaign warmly welcomes the news that Hildegard Naughton will serve as Junior Minister in the Department of Transport in An Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s Government.
Kevin Jennings, chairperson of the Galway Cycling Campaign said, “We congratulate Minister Naughton on her appointment to the Department of Transport. This is good news for Galway city and county.
Minister Naughton regularly engages with us on cycling issues and our ongoing Change Our Streets movement for more space and less speed for people walking and cycling.
As former chair of the cross-party Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, Minister Naughton understands the intimately intertwined social and economic challenges of congestion, public health, and quality of life.
Galway Cycling Campaign warmly welcomes the report in the Irish Times that the deal for the Programme for Government will include €360m for cycling and walking. This will be allocated each year before the proposed future investment split of 2:1 in favour of public transport over roads. This is a smart deal for transport, public health, and supporting the local economy.
The volunteer group for everyday cycling has campaigned for years for 10% of the land transport budget to be allocated to cycling.
Chairperson of Galway Cycling Campaign Kevin Jennings emphasised the significance of the increase of funding from 2% to 10% for cycling.
A commitment of 10% for cycling in the land transport budget could help change transport in Ireland. The new government radio ads asking us to cycle and walk where possible are a first that I can recall. My kids are asked to cycle to camógaí training.
Investment in cycling is investment in public health. Better infrastructure will encourage more people to cycle during coronavirus, and enable the years of social distancing we must do until a Covid-19 vaccine is available.
The chairperson also added that cycling is good for local business.
Cycling is good for business. Customers by bike are local and loyal. Research in London and Europe shows that bike parking outside your business brings five times the retail spend as the same space allocated to a car.
The first CycleCoffeeCake event organised by Galway Cycling Campaign ended at Ground & Co in Salthill. The local business was delighted to sponsor this event to support new people cycling as they’ve seen a massive jump in customers arriving by bike.
Martina Callanan, spokesperson for the Galway Cycling Campaign, pointed out that EU research clearly shows that the economic and social benefits of cycling and walking.
According to EU research, each 1 km drive costs the public purse €0.11 in terms of travel time, collisions, and pollution, while at the same time each 1 km cycle or walk brings health, environmental and quality of life benefits of €0.18 & €0.37 / km respectively.
She added that the the group are keen to confirm the annual percentage budget for cycling and walking.
It looks like the Programme for Government will commit 20% of the land transport budget to cycling and walking, as 20% of 2020 land transport budget is €360m.
We expect 10% to be clearly allocated to cycling as this 10% allocation is endorsed by the UN, Citizens’ Assembly, the Dáil, Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action and the government’s Climate Plan.
Kevin Jennings added that the expectation is that cycling funding will be spent on quality infrastructure for all ages and abilities in Galway city and county so that we can grow cycling to levels common in places like Ghent, Seville and Leeds.
We also need to support more women to cycle. The boom in bike sales is due to more women buying bicycles. Before coronavirus, only 27% of cycling commuters are female, according to 2016 Census data.
Women typically have complex cycle routes involving trips to school, childcare, GP, local shops, public services like libraries, as well as to work. Safe and segregated cycle paths in networks that start from your residential area are necessary to support more women – and families – on bikes.”
Galway Cycling Campaign looks forward to examining the full published Programme for Government. More detailed comments will follow.
This article was written by Stan Carey for the Galway Cycling Campaign. A version of it was published by the Galway Independent for its ‘Inside Out’ column on 4 June 2014.
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People sometimes ask why I cycle around Galway when I have a car, and I’m surprised the answer isn’t obvious. Then I remember there are lots of answers. Cyclists are commonly stereotyped – as lycra-wearing fanatics, cardboard-eating eco-warriors, etc. – but we’re as diverse as any random group of people, and we have countless reasons for cycling and styles of doing so.
One thing that puts people off is the perceived danger, but cycling is a lot safer than it’s made out to be if you have the right skills. And it becomes safer with numbers. All road users need to share the roads respectfully, and above all be patient. Overtaking a cyclist dangerously just to save a few seconds is a nasty thing to do, illegal too, yet it happens all the time. I don’t care how much of a rush you’re in, your time isn’t worth putting someone’s life and well-being at risk.
Not that cyclists are immune from bad behaviour. I see examples every day – like footpath cycling, which I don’t mind when it’s a child or learner taking their time, but when it’s an able-bodied young male zipping by makes me want to lecture and fine them on the spot. Still, it’s nothing to the danger posed by driving at speed, which is rife and inadequately enforced and has helped decimate the number of children and families cycling on city and rural roads in Ireland.
Galway’s size and layout are well-suited to getting around by bike or foot. The city has a proud tradition of cycling, and it wouldn’t take much to make bikes a strong part of its culture again – a bit of promotion, know-how, and political will. The upcoming Greenways and Coke Zero bike rental scheme should help normalise and boost cycling again, following the great successes in Mayo and Dublin.
Like learning to drive, it’s hardest when you’re starting. How can beginners and nervous cyclists develop the confidence and skills to manoeuvre roads that seem so hostile? Know your bike and your capabilities, for starters. Watch and learn from experienced cyclists. Get a copy of the Galway Cycling Campaign’s “Cycling Skills” leaflets, or read John Franklin’s book Cyclecraft in the city library. And practise. It takes time to learn how to read the roads, to anticipate threats, to know when it’s safer to use the centre of a lane and when to keep in. Just give those car doors a wide berth.
Galway’s infrastructure isn’t very cycling-friendly, with its roundabouts, slip roads, poor surfaces, one-way systems, meagre parking, inept cycle lanes, and aggressive emphasis on traffic “flow” rather than safe, accessible, permeable streets. But the benefits more than compensate. JFK was right: Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride. It’s great for mental and physical health. The financial savings are amazing. Parking is easy, even if it often requires lampposts and railings. Traffic jams are irrelevant. (I can’t be the only one bemused by all the empty roads in cars ads.)
Less obviously, cycling brings a real physical quality to a journey. Instead of being cut off from the world around you, you’re immersed in it. You can enjoy its sights and sounds and take in the scenery Galway is blessed with. Feel the sun on your face (if there is any), the wind in your hair (if you have any), the joy of freewheeling downhill. You can stop on a whim to look at something or chat to someone you know. And when you get home you have the satisfaction of having exercised and gotten a good dose of fresh air. Even the weather’s not as bad as you’d think.
Who we are
Galway Cycling Campaign is a voluntary group which represents cyclists in Galway. We promote cycling as a common and accessible form of transport with the goal of creating a more liveable Galway for everyone.