Case study: ‘I did consider cycling but the roads are extremely dangerous’


Alternative: Cine film restorer Julien Dorgere uses a Vespa to get around. Photo: Damien Eagers
Alternative: Cine film restorer Julien Dorgere uses a Vespa to get around. Photo: Damien Eagers

With just three buses out of Bearna, Co Galway, before 9am, Julien Dorgere quickly realised he could not rely on public transport.

The French native owns a successful business called Super 8 Ireland, which restores old cine camera footage. He has flexible hours, and does not drive. Instead, he uses a Vespa scooter to get around.

He is a rarity because most of his neighbours use their car to commute. In fact Bearna, just 7km from Galway city centre, is one of the most car-dependent communities of all, with just 14.22pc of all trips made by public transport, walking or cycling.

“Even if I could drive, I would not choose to because it is nightmarish to just sit in traffic because the roads are so congested,” he explained.

“I did consider cycling but the roads are extremely dangerous. It is narrow enough for two cars to pass but if it is two trucks, there is barely enough room on the path for a bicycle.”

In rush hour, he says, you could sit in traffic for half-an-hour, or even an hour, going across town. With his Vespa, it takes eight to nine minutes.

Waiting at a bus stop, PhD student Stephanie Koennecker said she uses the City Direct private firm which runs two buses a day into the city, at 8am and 12.30pm.

Bearna used to be described as a remote village, she said, adding: “It is now a suburb, but it still has the transportation of a rural village.”

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Irish Independent

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