Aran Islands Ferries- Bicycle Ban.

IMPORTANT UPDATE June 2013 : Limited numbers of bikes now allowed on selected sailings from Rossaveal. Check with ferry company in advance.

No more bikes. Island ferries confirmed to us that they will no longer carry bicycles on their ferries to the Aran Islands.

A spokesperson for Island Ferries in Rossaveal cited “health and safety” as the reason for the decision.

no bicycles to the Aran Islands

This change of policy mid season will leave a lot of cyclists annoyed. Many cycling clubs and tours are are already booked to the islands and will have to make alternative arrangements. are just one of the companies affected.

The bike hire companies on the Islands will no doubt be delighted.

But worry not. All the Doolin based ferries have confirmed that , at least for now they still carry bikes. Indeed Bill O’Brien of O’Brien Line Doolin Ferries will even give you 10% off with the coupon that you can get on this link HERE. (You don’t need a bike to use the voucher).

UPDATE SUMMER 2013. Private charter available from Rossaveal . Up to 12 passengers with bikes. Call John at 086 8819052

In further ferry news it has been confirmed that Kevin O’Brien has sold his Doolin Ferries operation to the Garrihy family. A colourful character on Doolin pier for many years he will surely be missed.

Kevin O'Brien Doolin-Ferries

Kevin O’Brien in the Doolin Ferries office.

ferry discount coupon

Save the image to your smartphone or download and print it for use any time during the 2012 season.

joe watty's lunch coupon.

Save money on Inis Mór. The best food, music and craic on the Aran Islands.

14 thoughts on “Aran Islands Ferries- Bicycle Ban.”

  1. This is shocking. I know of almost no other ferries in Europe or the USA that won’t take bikes. We already made reservations in the Aran islands, but this jeopardizes that part of our visit. Do you know of any safe place to store our bikes in Rosseveal while we are on the islands? (two nights there)

    1. Sure they may gain in the short term. The ferry company have no connection to the bike hire company that anyone is aware of. Island Ferries are, in our experience great people but we and the Islanders can’t understand this policy change.

  2. Here is the response from the Health and Safety authority of Ireland to the Connacht Tribune story back in July.

    Response to Connacht Tribune Article:
    “Ferry to Aran Bans Bikes – For Health and Safety Reasons”
    Friday July 20th
    The proactive management of the safety and health of workers or anyone who might be affected by work activity is serious business. This task is not made any easier when one reads of various activities and events being cancelled or curtailed because of “health and safety”. As we see it, the term is bandied about as an excuse for all sorts of unpopular decisions. It can be very convenient to put a difficult decision down to some vague “health and safety” issue rather than outline the real motivation. There may well be valid reasons to make unpopular decisions, e.g. commercial pressures or fears re legal action, but more often than not they have nothing to do with “health and safety”.

    The latest version of this was seen recently when a ferry company operating to the Aran Islands decided to ban passengers bringing bicycles on board. The reason given for this decision was “health and safety”. At the time of writing it seems as though no details have been provided to customers and members of the public as to what exactly these “health and safety” concerns are.

    Last year 54 people lost their lives in workplace accidents and so far this year 22 people have been killed. Apart from these very tragic deaths thousands of people have been injured, many very seriously. The position of the Health and Safety Authority is clear – health and safety is not a reason to not do something. If there are valid risks associated with a workplace activity these risks should be assessed and managed so that the activity can be carried out in a safe way. Very rarely is the solution to simply not do it.

    We live in an era where many people have concerns over an overly protective “nanny state” culture. We understand these concerns and we certainly have no desire to add to them. We would urge your readers the next time they’re told they can’t do something because of “health and safety” to challenge it. Common sense should prevail. On a daily basis our inspectors come up against issues that are a real and genuine risk to worker safety and health. That is where our focus will be!

    Yours sincerely

    Gavin Lonergan

    Head of Communications

    Health and Safety Authority

    1. Unfortunately what you say is true. Why don,t the Health and Safety Authorities publish the report on The Ferry Company, that was undertaken? Or why don,t the Ferry Company publish a copy of the Report which l presume by law they will ,have to receive at some stage at least then the public both islanders and visitors, will understand the reasoning and maybe able to do something about this. Tourism is down big time this year so hopefully there can be a reasoned and lawful solution

  3. They should really give a more precise reason than “health and safety”. I’m sure they have one. Like Daria says below, people are not going to leave expense bikes, or custom bikes, behind, only to have to rent something on the island that’s not the same standard.
    A good reason may help people understand the move.

  4. Plain stupid indeed. Over the last ten years, I’ve organised several cyclo-tours with friends in the Burren or Connemara area, making sure to pass through Inishmore and Inisheer. No way we’d leave our bikes at the pier (especially if making a loop Doolin -> Aran -> Rossaveal!). And I don’t see at all the “H&S” issue there… If this moronic decision sticks, the Aran islands are just out of any future tours we’ll make…

    1. Agree. Absolutely mad. Island Ferries cite health and safety but the Health and Safety authority have no known issues. A campaign is mounting on local politicians to bring pressure on the ferry company to review the decision. Bikes can still be carried from Doolin (for now).

  5. Me fein freisin. Is droch sceal e agus health and safety nil se ach leithsceal, cad e an fhirinne?

  6. That’s a real shame. Although it’s great business for the islanders, renting their bikes is not the same for some serious bicyclists who have serious machines they wouldn’t think of leaving behind. My husband and I have fold up bikes that are specially fitted and geared for us that we take everywhere – but we’ll be taking them elsewhere if we cannot take them to the Aran Islands. In the long run, it might hurt the island’s business rather than help.

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