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World Car Free Day - Galway Teens to ditch the Car on September 22nd

Sep 15, 2015

An Taisce Green-Schools, Galway City Council, Youth Work Ireland and Comháirle Na N’og have come together to launch a Car Free Day on Tuesday 22nd September- World Car Free Day 2015.

Teenagers across Galway City will participate in the city’s first ever Secondary schools Car Free Day by walking, drop ‘n’ hopping, cycling and taking the Bus instead of being driven to School by Car. Nine Schools are taking part including Salerno, Colaiste Einde, The Dominican, St. Marys, The Jes, The Bish, Presentation College, Mercy College and Galway Community School.

In a bid to reduce congestion outside the Schools and in the City as a whole; parents, students and teachers are being urged to give it a go and see how they get on: “Walking, cycling and taking the bus are great for the young people’s sense of independence, for their concentration in the classroom, for their fitness levels and their mental health”, said Tiarnan McCusker, An Taisce Green-Schools Travel Officer. “Between 1986 and 2011, there was a 87% reduction in students cycling and a 28% reduction in walking to Secondary Schools. In 2011 only 3% of students cycled to Secondary School in Galway City. With so many Schools taking part we could actually see a marked reduction in congestion in the City, meaning cleaner air, and a happier and more vibrant City as a whole’, so let’s give it a go!”

Students and teachers who live close enough to their Schools are encouraged to walk and cycle from their homes.  Are there any opportunities to set up cycle trains or walking buses and pick each other up en route to School? Remember that you can walk 1 mile in 15 minutes and cycle it in 5 minutes as cycling is 3 times quicker than walking. For those that live too far to walk or cycle, they can catch a bus to School-check out your local bus stop and go online to see which bus gets you close to your School. Drop ‘n’ Hop is another great way of getting to School whereby students are dropped off 1 km from the School and they walk from there.

Schools taking part will also receive free cycle training as well as upgraded cycle parking facilities funded by the Galway City council. Primary Schools are also being encouraged to organise a Car Free Day if they so wish.

Anyone looking for more information can contact Tiarnan McCusker, Green-Schools travel Officer with An Taisce on 0870620795