Primary and secondary schools in Galway are calling for enhanced cycling infrastructure in and around the city's educational institutions.

In a letter sent to members of Galway City Council, the principals of 28 schools say existing routes can be unsafe and that action is needed to remedy this.

The schools say they have been trying to encourage people to "cycle or walk where possible", in line with public health advice.

But they contend that it can be difficult for children, parents or teachers to use bikes, due to a lack of proper cycling infrastructure around some schools.

The principals say immediate action is necessary and they have asked for a comprehensive plan to address their concerns.

They say they are looking forward to engaging in the council’s "Your City, Your Future" public consultation, in support of the development of safe cycling routes in the future.

Galway City Council was recently awarded €11.9 million under the National Transport Authority’s Active Sustainable Transport scheme.

Some of this funding has been earmarked for better routes around schools.

As part of the ongoing effort to encourage active travel, a "Safe Routes to School" programme is expected to be launched by the Department of Transport in the coming weeks.

It is understood this will try to coordinate efforts by schools, local authorities, the NTA and An Taisce to increase both pedestrian and cycle travel by primary and second level students.