A strong sign of support for at least a £10 per head investment in cycling in Northern Ireland is what many potential political leaders have already signed up to — and campaigners say the public should demand other candidates to follow suit.
The Election Cycle 2016 campaign for cycling investment, ahead of the Stormont Assembly election on May 5, is promoted by the local NI Greenways group, and the local branches of the two UK-wide cycling charities, Sustrans and Cycling UK (formerly CTC).
The combined group says that one third of candidates have replied with their responses now visible at bikefast.org/assembly-elections-2016/
The group says that there is still time for Assembly hopefuls to respond and are asking voters to contact candidates to ask them to pledge their support for active travel.
The questions are:
- Investment. Do you support funding for cycling in Northern Ireland of at least £10 per head of population, so as to encourage safer cycling conditions and see more people start cycling?
- Greenways. Do you support the development of traffic-free greenways across the country to boost rural regeneration and tourism
- Legislation. Do you support the introduction of an Active Travel Act to incorporate cycling and walking provision into land-use planning and new developments?
Cycling UK President, Jon Snow, said: “Cycling’s benefits in terms of health, environmental and economic benefits are well known. I therefore urge all MLA candidates to respond to our three simple questions and let the electorate know you support the vision of a cleaner, healthier and more prosperous Northern Ireland.”
Gordon Clarke, Sustrans Northern Ireland Director said: “We are pleased to see so many candidates standing in this May’s election being supportive of active travel and sustainable transport. We know that cycling is an easy way to incorporate exercise into our daily life, it is emissions free and for every pound invested in cycling, the economy gets five back.”