AQW 25589/11-15

Mr Peter Weir
Democratic Unionist Party
North Down

Tabled Date: 11/09/2013
Answered On Date: 07/10/2013
Priority Written: No

To ask the Minister for Regional Development whether there has been a study completed on Wales' travel legislation to ascertain what lessons can be learned for Northern Ireland, particularly in relation to cycling.

The Active Travel (Wales) Bill places a requirement on local authorities to continuously improve facilities and routes for walkers and cyclists and to prepare maps identifying current and potential future routes for their use. The Bill will also require new road schemes to consider the needs of pedestrians and cyclists at design stage.
My Department has developed an active travel strategy, which was published in Jan 2013 and can be found at This strategy replicates the spirit of the Welsh Bill and demonstrates my commitment to provide safer roads for the vulnerable and build on the sustainable transport agenda.
Over the period 2003–2013, my Department has invested over £9 million on cycling infrastructure measures with a view to making traffic conditions more suitable for cyclists. This has included the provision of approximately 220 kilometres of cycle lanes. These cycle facilities are also included in the Department’s maintenance regime and subject to regular inspections and remedial work, when appropriate.
The Department’s budget for cycling measures for the current financial year is approximately £420,000, which is comparable to the level of spend in recent years.
The 2014/15 budget for cycling has yet to be finalised. However, it is anticipated the overall Capital budget will be similar to this financial year, in the region of £9 million, and the allocation to cycling will also reflect the same level of investment at approximately 5%.
My Department’s Transport Policy Division has a budget which it uses to grant aid Local Authority Active Travel Demonstration projects, some of which have a cycling element.
In addition, I have instructed my officials to give increased and focused priority to the needs of cyclists, to encourage greater participation in this healthy and sustainable form of transport. I also asked for a new cycling unit to be established, to ensure the effective progress of a range of cycling initiatives.