AQW 25791/11-15

Mr Peter Weir
Democratic Unionist Party
North Down

Tabled Date: 17/09/2013
Answered On Date: 02/10/2013
Priority Written: No

To ask the Minister for Regional Development to outline his plans following the recent announcement by H.M. Government on additional investment for cycling.

I have recently directed the establishment of a Cycle Policy Unit, in my Department, tasked with better co-ordinating all cycle issues and working with other interested stakeholders to develop robust and sustainable strategies.
During the incoming year, my Department is providing £4.3m to fund active travel Demonstration projects in Belfast, Londonderry, Craigavon and Strabane. I have also more recently committed £50k for my Department to undertake a Feasibility Study into a cycle / pedestrian footbridge over the River Lagan close to the gasworks site. Furthermore, my Department’s Roads Service plans to implement around 4.5km of new cycle lanes.
Another very recent initiative is The Active School Travel Programme which will provide a programme of cycle and walking skills training to pupils in 60 schools across Northern Ireland over a three year period. The objective of this programme is to encourage school pupils to adopt cycling and walking as their main mode of transport to and from school. We may need to support this programme with investment in infrastructure (often safety measures at schools) to encourage participation. I aim to bid for £2m in October Monitoring to kick start this programme and I am keen to develop a long term marketing campaign to develop behavioural change.