Murray disappointed and frustrated by risk posed to potential cycling infrastructure

Alliance Balmoral Councillor Micky Murray has expressed disappointment and frustration at plans for cycling infrastructure in Balmoral, and across Belfast, being seemingly put at risk before they’ve even been implemented.

Belfast City Council Micky Murray

In response to questions posed by Cllr Murray at the recent City Growth and Regeneration Committee meeting, regarding how the Belfast Cycle Network Plan and the transport plan are interlinked, the Department for Infrastructure claimed that parts of the cycle plan may be ‘displaced’ by the new Belfast Metropolitan Transport Plan.

“Whilst the Belfast Cycle Network Plan is a deeply flawed plan by the Department for Infrastructure, it has the potential to lay the groundwork for a better cycling network across the city than currently exists, which is something that we absolutely must strive for,” said Cllr Murray.

“The main arterial routes of Lisburn Road and Malone Road aren't due to have cycling infrastructure in place until 2028-31, and the Upper Malone Road, Upper Lisburn Road, and Finaghy Road South have all been completely ignored in the plan.

“Now it emerges that the Department's new Belfast Metropolitan Transport Plan, which won't have a final draft until late 2024, may take priority.

“Despite there being a huge need and want for safe cycling infrastructure across our city, and the Department stating that walking, wheeling, and cycling, are above public transport in their priorities, the Cycle Network p-Plan is already at risk of collapse. It’s so incredibly frustrating.

“There has been next to no delivery on the plan to date, and with 10% of the overall transport budget to be spent on active travel, it really makes you question just how serious DfI are about prioritising active travel and achieving net zero.”