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Need to rebalance Departmental budget towards active and sustainable transport, says Muir

There is a need for rebalancing of the Department for Infrastructure’s budget towards active and sustainable transport, Alliance Infrastructure spokesperson Andrew Muir MLA has said.

Mr Muir was speaking after Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon confirmed her Department’s budget, outlining plans for investment in blue/green infrastructure, as well as funding for road safety measures, street lights and potholes.

“I agree with the Minister that her Department is underfunded. That will affect the ‘bread and butter’ issues such as street lighting, grass cutting and resurfacing of roads, although I am pleased some of these issues will be addressed in this budget,” said the North Down MLA.

“However, that means the budget needs to be rebalanced better so we can meet the challenges of historic underinvestment. In addition, while a focus on blue and green infrastructure is welcome, more needs to be done to rebalance the focus of the Department’s budget towards active and sustainable transport.

“We need faster and more ambitious targets to achieve what our society needs to happen in order to have that active travel revolution. The Minister has carried out some welcome actions but there should be more – more segregated cycle lanes, more access to public transport for cyclists and more of the Belfast Bike Network for starters. It’s time we take the brakes off.”