Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has been learning more about sustainable transport initiatives in Beijing and how they could be adapted for the north, during a meeting with the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transportation.
Speaking after the meeting, Minister Hazzard said:
"For any modern city creating a more sustainable transportation network is vital. While on a different scale, like Chinese cities, our economy and population have grown in recent years and the demands on our transport network have grown. Too much of that demand has been met by higher levels of car use. That has resulted in congestion, poor air quality in localised areas and increased difficulty for those who don’t have a car accessing basic services and opportunities.
"Initiatives like No Car Day and the development of an extensive subway system have been huge successes in Beijing. Over the next five years I will be looking at developing our sustainable transport system, with the Belfast Rapid Transit project and the development of a regional greenways strategy central to this. These projects have the potential to make a significant impact on how many of us travel day and daily, as well as encouraging a more active lifestyle.
"Learning more about the Beijing’s focus on sustainability and regional/local connectivity and development has been worthwhile and I believe there are ideas we can adapt and use within our towns and cities. I am determined to transform how people travel, to get more people onto public transport and indeed walking and cycling. There simply is no alternative if we are to accommodate future economic and population growth in our urban areas."
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