Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard MLA has announced a public consultation on a draft Belfast Bicycle Network.
The proposals outline the potential for around 130 kilometres of convenient, comfortable, continuous and coherent bicycle routes for the city.
Under these proposals, two thirds of all Belfast City Council residents will be within 400 metres of a quality bicycle route.
Minister Hazzard said:
“I have given the strongest commitment to active travel, and this consultation on a Bicycle Network for Belfast shows that I mean to follow up on that commitment. A walk through Belfast city centre at any time of the day is a clear indicator that people want to travel more actively and, literally, get on their bikes. I want to see that enthusiasm for cycling developed further throughout the city so that everyone will have the freedom and confidence to use the bicycle for everyday journeys.
“One of my key priorities outlined in the Programme for Government is to help transform how we travel by increasing the number of people walking, cycling and using public transport. Active travel and public transport help to civilize our villages, towns and cities and enhance the region as a place where people want to live and work, to visit and invest. The implementation of a bicycle network is an important step in delivering that in Belfast.”
The Minister also announced plans for other areas. He said:
“The Belfast Network is the beginning of something better for all our towns and cities and there are plans to develop bicycle network plans for other urban areas. This will complement my plans for greenways across the north and help to deliver a comprehensive network for the bicycle.”
Gordon Clarke, Sustrans Director, Ireland added: “Our Belfast Bike Life report in October 2015 reported that there are around seven million bicycle journeys in Belfast every year and we believe the numbers are increasing. Bike Life highlighted that the people of this city want more to be spent on bicycle infrastructure and that they believe that traffic-free routes and protected cycle infrastructure is how you increase cycling. This Belfast Bicycle network is an important first step in delivering that objective.”
Minister Hazzard concluded:
“The draft Belfast Bicycle Network is another building block for active travel. I want to see all those who have an interest in cycling get involved in this consultation, whether you are a resident of Belfast or travel into Belfast. This is your opportunity to have your say about the future of cycling in Belfast.”
A copy of the consultation document can be viewed or downloaded from:
Notes to editors:
- The Bicycle Strategy which was published in August 2015 indicated that the first bicycle network would focus on Belfast followed by detailed bicycle network plans for other urban areas. This consultation provides an opportunity for people to contribute to the development of the proposed network.
- The consultation will run from 20 January to 13 April 2017. A number of consultation events will be held throughout the city.
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