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Salthill Cycleway Plan Divides Opinion With Residents

By Conor Farrelly

As reported by RTE.ie, plans to instal a temporary cycleway along the Salthill promenade in Galway have become deeply divisive in the local community.

Well over 1,000 submissions were made in a public consultation process in the past week.

The government has allocated €1 million for the project as part of the national plan to develop a walking and cycling infrastructure.

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A decision is expected from Galway City Council next month.

Sustainable Transport

Community groups say that the proposed temporary cycleway along the Salthill prom is the blue jewel in the crown of Galway’s greenways – a safe and sustainable way for people of all ages to travel.

The proposed 3km lane is due to operate from March to September.

Cycle groups say that it will transform the area and is a major step in meeting the city’s sustainable transport goals.

Martina Callinan, deputy chairperson of the Galway Cycling Campaign, said, “Mothers and fathers know these roads are treacherous, and that’s why they don’t cycle here with their children.

“This cycleway will give children, teenagers and their parents a real, safe opportunity to get out of their cars and onto their bikes.

“Half of Galway’s residents live within a ten-minute cycle of a 3km route.

“Social change can be difficult. Some people will be inconvenienced, but we have to look at the bigger picture. We have to look at the opportunity for Galway.

“We’ve been talking for two years about a temporary cycleway in Salthill, to give kids and families an opportunity to cycle. Please just get on with it.

“Climate change doesn’t wait for anybody. Let’s try something new. Galway needs to do better. We have an opportunity. Let’s just grab it and go for it!”

Local Opposition

Some local residents and business owners say that the cycleway will create traffic mayhem and ruin livelihoods.

Catherine Shiel represents a group of businesses in Salthill Village that are opposed to the temporary cycleway.

“This will be a disaster because it hasn’t been planned out properly,” Shiel said, “and we have never been opposed to a shared cycleway and walkway along the promenade, but the options we have been presented with are totally unsustainable.

“It would be a disaster for our sector, particularly during the summer season, when the cycleway would be up and running.

“Then, of course, you have the issue with all of the traffic that is going to be forced through the residential areas, and Galway in itself is a gridlock at the best of times, so we really feel that this has been very badly planned, and these options are an absolute no-no for us.”

Council Debate

The Mayor of Galway City, Colette Connolly, proposed the motion for the cycleway last September, and it was voted through, 17 to 1.

Connolly previously said, “There is a whole sea change in Galway, and people are sick, sore and tired of being second-class citizens.

“As a pedestrian and as a cyclist, it was very important to get the councillors on board.”

Some councillors have since said that there was a lack of detail and no proper council debate at the time.

© 2022 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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