Belfast Telegraph readers back 130km bicycle network plan

Belfast Telegraph runs an online poll about the 130km Belfast Bicycle Network Plan – and readers deliver a landslide verdict

Belfast Bicycle Network

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Readers of the Belfast Telegraph have overwhelmingly backed the Belfast Bicycle Network Plan in an online poll. As of Wednesday 25th January an impressive 77% of almost 2,500 readers polled said YES to the question “Should Belfast get 80 miles of new bike lanes?

The poll was created in response to the Department for Infrastructure’s announcement of a consultation into its new Belfast Bicycle Network Plan, which will seek to develop a 130km “primary network” of routes around the city over the next decade.

The Belfast Telegraph has been at the forefront of laser-focused reporting on the city’s bus lanes over the least few years, with a remarkably long list of articles.

The paper has also been criticised for language used in reporting the recent Council debate on the future of Belfast Bikes, as well as using strangely contradictory reportage on whether scheme members pay “a penny” or are sneakily using a “loophole”..

“They are currently free for the first 30 minutes, but this period of grace could be reduced to 15 minutes, in a bid by Belfast City Council to save money.”

“More and more users, however, are taking advantage of a loophole, whereby the first 30 minutes are free, meaning that, with careful planning, cyclists can negotiate their way around the city without paying anything.”

Cost of Belfast Bikes rental may increase
Belfast Telegraph, 19th January 2017

“It is suspected that some people use Belfast Bikes without paying a penny by carefully planning their journeys so they do not exceed their free time.

The current price is £20 for an annual subscription, and £5 for three days.”

Belfast Bikes to keep first 30 minutes free of charge
Belfast Telegraph, 21st January 2017

Bikefast is glad that the ordinary, decent, hard-working man and woman on the street has shown the Belfast Telegraph that they want to have the freedom and confidence to use the bicycle for everyday journeys – and that chimes with the Belfast Bike Life Report showing public support for the level of safety and comfort required to make it happen.

Will we see a more pro-everyday cycling editorial line emerging from the Belfast Telegraph? Or perhaps (God help us all) from the The Nolan Show?

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