Garda clarifies his claim that cyclists cannot ride two abreast

Posted on: January 6th, 2018

Garda Tom Curley cycling two abreast

The senior Garda had said cyclists were not permitted to ride two abreast in Ireland. However, his remarks were challenged and there has been a clarification, of sorts.


Garda Chief Tom Curley clarifies cycling two abreast remarks


A senior Garda officer in Co Galway has said his recent comments about cycling two abreast should not have been taken literally.

There was confusion in November when Chief Supt Tom Curley said cyclists could not ride two abreast.

He made his remarks at a Galway County Council joint policing committee meeting. Chief Supt Curley was being questioned by members of the public in attendance.

The issue of cyclists had arisen in the context of complaints that the Wild Atlantic Way was becoming very popular for cyclists.

Some of those present suggested cyclists riding two abreast delayed other road users. And they asked the Garda officer if cyclists could ride two abreast.

“No. One,” he replied, before adding more general remarks about cycling.

“One thing that happened in the Celtic Tiger is we lost our patience,” he said.

“There’s been more examples of verbal altercations – nearly going to fisticuffs – over cyclists. Sunday morning is a particular issue.”

He then suggested that anyone driving who was trying to pass cyclists would have a difficult time even if they were in single file.

“But multiples of two, you’re definitely risking life and limb passing more than one… it is single file from where I’m sitting,” he said.

The Galway Cycling Campaign took issue with his remarks. They pointed out the law stated cyclists “shall not drive a pedal cycle on a roadway in such a manner as to result in more than two pedal cyclists driving abreast”.

And the only exception was “when overtaking other pedal cyclists, and then only if to do so will not endanger, inconvenience or obstruct other traffic or pedestrians.”

In its correspondence to Chief Supt Curley and all members of the joint policing committee, Galway Cycling Campaign said the officer’s remarks were at odds with the section of the Republic’s Traffic and Parking Regulations it quoted.

And in reply, Chief Supt Curley agreed: “At this particular Joint Policing Committee in November 2017, the issue of cycling was discussed as part of a wider conversation on road safety and should not be taken as a legal interpretation of the legislation you have correctly quoted.”