Credit: Galway Cycling Campaign
The Galway Cycling Campaign has called for additional disabled parking to be introduced along the Promenade when a temporary cycleway is installed in Salthill later this year.
Galway City Council is currently looking at two options for the route which will have an impact on the number of disabled bays.
Galway Cycling Campaign, which has disabled members, said that a major flaw in option one is the fact that blue badge holders will be forced to cross the road to get to the seafront.
The Campaign said this is why they will be supporting the second option with added disabled parking spaces along the Prom.
Under the first option, there would be an additional three disabled parking spots added to the current 12 to allow for 15 disabled spaces in total.
Option two will see the disabled parking bays stay at the current number of 12 however, it will provide better access to the sea for disabled drivers.
Galway Cycling Campaign chairman Kevin Jennings, said: “One of the plans is that there will be more blue badge parking but it would be on the other side of the road, so they will have to cross the road to get to the prom and for some people, the prom is their lifeline.”
“Some people can’t walk but they can swim so they park up near to the sea and they somehow get from the car to the sea and this is their pleasure. Once they are in the water, they feel like they are not disabled anymore and they fear that this will be taken from them.
“We say option two with extra blue badge parking on the prom,” he said.
Mr Jennings said Galway City Council needs not just engineers for this plan but also people who have communication skills and are disabilities specialists.
“We think now is the time to use this trial to try new things and to come back with a permanent solution with their [vulnerable people] needs in the centre,” Mr. Jennings said.
Mr Jennings was critical that the needs of disabled persons had not been considered at the early planning stages by the Council.
“We think that the council should have engaged with us, especially with disabled persons who are so fearful because they never get anything,” he said.
Jennings praised the second option as “radical” but cautioned it needed to be “explained well” to the public.
“[Galway City Council] have gone with a radical plan, it is much more radical than expected,
“We looked at it and said it is a very good plan even though it might be a hard sell for people. If explained well, I think it will work really well.”
“It would improve Salthill and it will start to improve Galway,” Mr. Jennings added.
The Council have received 7,500 submissions and the proposed cycle lane is due to commence in March until September.
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