Pictured celebrating one year of the School Streets project in Scoil Iognáid are: Garda Claire Burke, Community Engagement, Galway Station, An Garda Siochána; Patrick Greene, Director of Services, Galway City Council; Her Worship, Mayor of Galway City, Councillor Colette Connolly; Hildegarde Naughton, TD, Minister of State, Department of Transport; Barry Cummins, Community Warden, Galway City Council, and children from 6th class in Scoil Iognáid, Raleigh Row
Daily Car Use down by 14%, as Kids Walk, Scoot and Bike on Car-Free Street!
Galway City Council is delighted to celebrate one year of the School Streets pilot at Scoil Iognáid - where daily car use has reduced by 14%, and more children are walking (+11%), scooting (+3%) and cycling (+7%) on a daily basis. Staff report children arriving to school more ready to learn, with an improved atmosphere and reduced stress at the school gate. Parents and the wider community report a better walking and cycling environment, improved access and community spirit. This project is funded by the National Transport Authority, and delivered with the support of the Green-Schools Travel programme, An Garda Siochána, and the wider school community.
Galway based TD and Minister of State in the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton T.D. said “the report published by Galway City Council today is incredibly encouraging. The findings enclosed will inform us on how we can further boost and facilitate increased levels of children taking a healthier and greener mode of transport to and from school every day. Crucially, the report and findings published by Galway City Council today acts as a step-by-step blue print for local authorities nationwide to replicate these results in their own respective counties.
Children from 6th Class, with Her Worship, Mayor of Galway City, Councillor Colette Connolly; Hildegarde Naughton, TD, Minister of State, Department of Transport.
Continuing, Minister Naughton said “Earlier this year I launched a new programme, Safe Routes to School, which is investing in safe walking, cycling and scooting infrastructure on the lead up to and entrances of our schools. The programme aims to deliver, and is delivering, results just like those we can see from this School Streets pilot. I very much look forward to building on the progress made with schools in Galway and further afield in the months and years ahead.”
Commenting on the School Streets pilot turning one, Patrick Greene, Director of Services, Galway City Council commented, “The National Transport Authority identifies the front of school as the place where children congregate in the greatest numbers and where they are most vulnerable to indiscriminate parking practices, hazardous crossing conditions and air quality issues from idling cars. The School Streets pilot at Scoil Iognáid has created a space where children as young as four and five are scooting and cycling with their older classmates, as they arrive into school. Galway City Council is now looking to progress ’Safe Routes to School’ and ‘School Zones’ at more schools in the city – these designs will create a safer front of school environment for children, and if any opportunities arise to deliver School Streets, or ‘traffic free’ streets, Galway City Council welcome the opportunity to explore this with the school community.”
A ‘School Street’ is a road outside a school with a temporary restriction on motorised traffic at school drop off and pick up times – creating a safer, calmer space for children, parents and residents to walk, scoot or cycle. The pilot project in Scoil Iognáid was formally launched in November 2020, with hundreds of families joining to create the first city-centre School Streets project in Ireland.
Children from 6th Class
As part of the pilot project at Scoil Iognáid, Palmyra Row, Palmyra Avenue and Raleigh Row were pedestrianised from Monday 30th November during the school pick up and drop off times (Monday to Friday, 8.15am to 9.15am and 1.15pm to 2.45pm, during school term times only). Residents still have access to their homes during these times, as do cyclists or ‘blue badge’ holders accessing the school.