Sligo Summer Cycling Zoom Event: May 19th

What changes do people who cycle in Sligo want to see?

 

At the recent virtual public meeting of Sligo Cycling Campaign, guest speakers and members of the audience made several worthwhile proposals for improving the cycling experience in Sligo. The proposals arise directly from the speakers’ own experience of cycling and are all the more valuable for that.   Many of the proposed solutions come within the remit of Sligo County Council and we will be requesting that they be acted on in the forthcoming Transport Mobility Plan.  Other issues such as parking in cycle lanes come within the remit of both the Council and the Garda and we will be requesting that they be raised at meetings of The Joint Policing Committee     Yet others are a matter for schools, employers and bodies such as Irish Rail.

More than one speaker remarked that while they themselves felt comfortable cycling as adults, our present infrastructure was not suitable for children or teenagers. A Dad pointed out that teenagers cannot cycle safely to school if cycle lanes are blocked with parked cars as happens on a regular basis on Pearse Road. This parent also pointed out that it is not always comfortable to cycle in a school uniform. Schools that insist on only a uniform being worn once inside the school gate are discouraging active travel. Considering both the myriad health benefits of cycling and the need to reduce emissions from transport this policy seems short-sighted.

The main discussion centred around the need for an integrated cycle network for Sligo and for traffic calming to facilitate walking and cycling.  Proposals included –

 

Sligo County Council:

  • Protection from traffic on the Strandhill Road, via segregation of the cycle lane with wands/planters or provision of a segregated two-way cycle lane. 

 

  •  Traffic calming and more pedestrian crossings in Strandhill to enable children who cycle to school to also cycle safely around the village.  

 

  • The issue of parking in cycle lanes to be addressed.

 

  • Bike parking in Sligo town needs to be addressed on two fronts, the actual availability of parking (there is none on Castle St, Grattan St or O’ Connell St) and informing the public of where bike parking is located.  On Sligo County Council’s website if you search “parking” you will find a map of all the car-parks in Sligo.  https://www.sligococo.ie/parking/ParkingMap/ There is no equivalent map or information regarding bike parking. 

 

  • Review the standard of cycling infrastructure currently proposed as part of the N16 road realignment at Lugatober.

 

  • Continue to progress work on the SLNCR and Sligo to Bellaghy Greenways and ensure that they are both linked to Sligo town.

 






 

Issues for other agencies:

 

  • Barriers to cycling to school to be addressed. Apart from infrastructure these include obstruction of cycle lanes, the weight of schoolbags and policy re school uniform.

 

  • Workplace provision of cycle parking, showers and drying rooms: State Agencies, Public Bodies and Health Authorities need to lead by example here. 

 

  • The carriage of bicycles on trains needs to be made easier. Even when one books a bicycle place there is no guarantee it will be available.