AQW 25544/11-15

Mr Daithí McKay
Sinn Féin
North Antrim

Tabled Date: 11/09/2013
Answered On Date: 01/10/2013
Priority Written: No

To ask the Minister for Regional Development how his Department estimates future levels of bicycle use when predicting spending on roads.

My Departments objectives for future cycle use are set out in the Active Travel Strategy for Northern Ireland. The specific long-term objectives for cycling are to:
increase the average distance cycled to be in line with our UK counterparts by 2020; and
increase the percentage of trips taken by cycling to be in line with our UK counterparts.
The allocation of funds to cycling is tailored to meet these objectives.
Detailed budgets have yet to be agreed for future years and so it is not possible to predict spend.
I am, however, fully committed to these objectives, and cycling and pedestrian schemes will continue to be identified. It is my intention to invest in and improve the cycling infrastructure as far as available resources permit.
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.