Alliance Party MLAs Chris Lyttle and Andrew Muir have welcomed moves made by the Infrastructure Minister to improve infrastructure to enable more walking and cycling but called for faster and more ambitious actions to achieve what they describe as an “Active Travel revolution”.
Chris Lyttle MLA, Chair of Assembly All Party Group on Cycling and Andrew Muir MLA Party Infrastructure Spokesperson have also issued an eight point Alliance Party Active Travel Plan.
Commenting on the issue, Chris Lyttle MLA, said: “Whilst I welcome Minister Mallon’s actions to date to achieve an Active Travel Revolution and appointment of a Walking and Cycling Champion we need to be more ambitious in our aims and take the brakes off much delayed progress to date. Significantly more segregated cycle lanes, increased on road cycling training for children and adults, improved access for cyclists to buses and trains, expansion of the Belfast Bike Network and putting us back on course to achieve Active Travel Spending targets per head of population are key actions we must push forward apace.”
Remarking on the actions needed, Andrew Muir MLA said: “With travel by public transport seriously limited as a result of Social Distancing requirements it’s vital we focus upon faster and more ambitious roll out of the Active Travel revolutions to Cities and Town Centres in consultation with Traders. This can’t be just limited to a few areas in Belfast. Widening of pavements in some places such as Holywood would be really useful in helping the Town and businesses operate under new Social Distancing requirements.
“Much delayed Greenway funding must also be released to enable bodies to push ahead with plans already devised and ready to be rolled out. Discount Vouchers for Bike Repair must also be introduced in Northern Ireland. Nearly half a million £50 bicycle maintenance vouchers are being introduced in England and ought to also be rolled out here.”