It’s round two of Bikefast’s vain attempt to see if local political parties are sending messages about bicycles through their party political broadcasts. The Alliance party did okay, so let’s see if the SDLP can build a better future for cycling.
First impressions? To be honest we were left a little hot under the collar, blushing and swooning over this hot, youthful, exciting, dynamic and attractive aspect of the film.
That’s right, the main focus was the gorgeous new leader of local infrastructure, the Sam Thompson Bridge – seen here just behind Colum Eastwood. This cherished facility at the start of the Connswater Greenway is opening up East Belfast to more cycling journeys and has been one of the highlights of the last Assembly period.
One amazing bridge project, and is there a clear message with this image – the inclusion of the Laganside path and site of the
sectarian proposed Gasworks Bridge? It needed SDLP support to get through Belfast City Council planning, so can we say the SDLP will support finding the capital funds to build the Gasworks Bridge after the election?
Ooh, more riverside paths in Belfast (hiya Derry!) as the newly extended City Quays cycling and walking path gets a once-over. Unfortunately the SSE Arena roof gets in the way of the Odyssey bike hire station, but fear not..
From this film can we say for certain the SDLP will be raising the profile of cycling in the election and the next Assembly? Maybe, maybe not. This is the party that brought you attempts at helmet compulsion yet also a default 20mph limit in Northern Ireland, so who knows which way they’ll go? We can at least point to a new generation of candidates like Claire Hanna who’ve spent time seeking out cycling best practice. Hopefully the SDLP manifesto and candidates will push these two simple priorities pre and post election.