AQW 25654/11-15

Mr Peter Weir
Democratic Unionist Party
North Down

Tabled Date: 12/09/2013
Answered On Date: 25/09/2013
Priority Written: No

To ask the Minister for Regional Development whether there are plans for strategic long term infrastructure for cycling.

My Department’s three Transport Plans, the Regional Strategic Transport Network Transport Plan (RSTNTP), the Belfast Metropolitan Transport Plan (BMTP) and Sub-Regional Transport Plan, set out the proposals for strategic long term infrastructure for cycling. These proposals, where they involve the roads infrastructure, are delivered primarily through the Local Transport and Safety Measures programme, as available resources permit.
My Department is committed to promoting cycling as a healthy and environmentally friendly mode of transport and will continue to work, in partnership with local government, voluntary bodies, public transport operators and the health and education sectors, to promote this pursuit across Northern Ireland and develop cycling initiatives further.
Recently, I have published an Action Plan for Active Travel, which will, in the period 2012-2015, promote walking and cycling across all Executive Departments and by local authorities and other interested bodies to take forward the Active Travel Strategy. This Action Plan includes a range of proposals to improve the infrastructure for cycling up to the end of the current budget period.
Beyond 2015, as part of the New Approach to Regional Transportation, my Department is developing transport spending proposals which will feed into the next Programme for Government budget process. This is being undertaken through a policy fit process which will identify those transport schemes which will best achieve the strategic objectives of the Northern Ireland Executive. The assessment process includes consideration of sustainable modes of travel, including cycling.
Also, I am establishing a new cycling unit within my Department, which will be tasked to identify and invest in new cycling schemes to complement the existing National Cycle Network in accordance with the Northern Ireland Cycling Strategy.