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Northern Ireland Calls to Increase Cycling Profile

The Chair of the Regional Development Committee moved: That this Assembly approves the report of the Committee for Regional Development on its inquiry into the benefits of cycling to the economy; and calls on the Minister for Regional Development, in conjunction with his Executive colleagues and other relevant bodies, to implement the recommendations contained in the report.

The report makes 23 recommendations highlighting that cycling has been seen as marginal for too long, and establishes that cycling spending has some of the best payback on transport expenditure. The report sets out a positive vision for cycling in Northern Ireland where people from all sectors of the community cycle for transport and enjoyment. It also recommends that targets are set to allow for meaningful measurement of the success or otherwise of the bicycle strategy and of progress against other Executive commitments, such as a reduction in obesity levels and in greenhouse gases. It also makes clear that we need to see ring-fencing of appropriate levels of funding for the strategy’s delivery and to establish the scale of expected cost-benefit return for the provision. It also makes an important recommendation about connecting the existing greenways. The report also recommends that, where cycling provision in urban centres is being considered and designed, there should be an emphasis on providing some form of segregation from other vehicular traffic and recommends that Translink should establish targets in its corporate plans to increase the number of bicycles accessing trains and buses for integrated transport, and that a Cycle to Work scheme be compulsory in the NI Assembly. In response the Minister stated that the Committee’s decision to undertake the inquiry was timely and opportune and assured the Committee that he would make a detailed formal response to the report.

Read the full debate here;

Source:  Environment Link Northern Ireland; Northern Ireland  Assembly News – March 2015

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