AQW 25535/11-15

Mr Chris Lyttle
Alliance Party
East Belfast

Tabled Date: 11/09/2013
Answered On Date: 26/09/2013
Priority Written: No

To ask the Minister for Regional Development whether any funding allocated to the A5 road scheme has been reinvested in cycling.

Following the Court ruling on the A5 scheme, and in accordance with financial procedures, I declared a reduced requirement of £108m in relation to the A5 allocation to the Department of Finance and Personnel.
The A5 funding was reallocated in the June 2013 monitoring round for the 2013-14 financial year. I secured over £33m in funding for roads maintenance and for the purchase of around 80 new buses. In addition, around £40m has been agreed to enable work to start on the Magherafelt Bypass next year.
A proportion of the overall maintenance funding will be used to improve cycling provision. Road repairs and resurfacing generally will enhance safety and provide other improvements for all road users, including cyclists.
I made an unsuccessful bid in the June Monitoring Round for £4m for Local Transport and Safety Measures (LTSM), which includes cycling infrastructure measures, and a further bid of £3m has been included for LTSM in the October Monitoring Round. I have also promoted a bid of £1m in the 2014/15 Capital Budget Exercise, which relates solely to cycling infrastructure.
A decision on this funding will only be realised once the outcome of the budget reviews are announced by the Department of Finance and Personnel.
As the Member will be aware, I have recently instructed officials in my Department to give increased and focussed priority to the needs of cyclists, to encourage greater participation in this healthy and sustainable form of transport. I have also asked for a new cycling unit to be established, to ensure the effective progress of a range of cycling initiatives.