Galway activist says speed limit changes increase risk of road deaths

 

A Salthill safety campaigner says proposed increases to speed limits by Galway City Council will increase the chance of someone being killed.

Proposed bye-laws that detail an increase in the speed limits on the Quincentennial Bridge (from 50kmph to 60kmph) and Bóthar na dTreabh (from 50kmph to 80kmph) are heading for public consultation after Galway City Council voted on the matter.

Gráinne Faller, who is also the head campaigner for the Sundays4Safety group, says the wellbeing of Galway people should be the Council’s biggest concern.

“At 30kmph, nine in ten people will survive being hit by a car. At 50kmph, half will survive. At 60kmph just one person out of ten will survive”, she said.

“Our council is proposing an increase on two roads, greatly increasing the chances of someone being killed, for what? So drivers can get from one set of traffic lights to the next that bit quicker?”.

Speaking in response to the concerns, Galway City Central’s Councillor Eddie Hoare said he believes the proposals are fair.

“Analysis have been carried out by Transport Infrastructure Ireland, and based on the recommendations, the increased speed limits have been proposed. They have also been signed off by an Garda Síochána”, he said.

Mr Hoare also said that the proposed increases are only on national roads and there are bigger budgets available to make these roads as safe as possible.

“These changes would be well serviced and maintained, and there are opportunities for sufficient infrastructure to be put in place to aid safety along these roads”, he said.

Reduction in City Centre speed limit

Also within these proposed by-law plans, the City Council are recommending a reduction of city centre speed limits.

This would result in an introduction of a 30kmph zone throughout the city centre, which Cllr Hoare and Ms Faller are both welcoming.

“Little point in protesting”

“Speed limit decreases, especially the embracing of 30kmph as standard in urban areas have been shown to enhance safety of all road users even when no other measures are in place”, Ms Faller said.

“Slower traffic means that it’s less intimidating for people to walk and cycle. Overall, 30kmph means safer, healthier, quieter and people-friendly cities.”

When asked if Sundays4Safety would be protesting against parts of the bye-law proposals, Ms Faller says she is choosing to embrace the positives of the plan.

“We [Sundays4Safety] campaigned for the new 30kmph limit that’s proposed. We are not going to focus on the negatives of the plan”, she said.

“There is little point [in protesting], and our energies are better spent elsewhere.”

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