Election Cycle 2016 – Belfast West

At the start of April 2016 the President of Cycling UK (and Channel 4 News presenter) Jon Snow contacted all Northern Ireland Assembly Election candidates to ask for their support in three simple policy asks around cycling investment, building a greenway network and delivering an Active Travel Act.

Election_Cycle_2016

The responses received so far from candidates standing in Belfast West are listed below. You can also click on each name to contact your local candidates through Twitter or Facebook to ask them to respond if they haven’t already.

Name Party Investment Greenways Legislation
Alex Attwood SDLP YES YES YES
Comments: “Yes, yes and yes.”
Conor Campbell Workers Party YES YES YES
Comments: “Many thanks for getting in touch and good luck with this campaign!

“We are delighted to be able to support the three initiatives you propose and agree that their full implementation can make a significant difference to health, the environment and the economy.

“As Workers Party candidates we are fully committed to a safer, healthier environment, a healthier population and to alternative forms of travel and leisure opportunities.

“The ‘Investment, Greenways and Legislation’ strategy will require not just the commitment of individual candidates but inclusion in the next Programme for Government and a public commitment to joined up implementation across a number of Executive departments and a robust and innovative approach to funding and development.

“We are happy to give a commitment that we would work towards those ends.”

Gerry Carroll PBPA YES YES YES
Comments: “People before Profit supports an Active Travel Act and increased investment to facilitate cycling. We have campaigned for more space for bikes on trains and buses and to allow bikes on trains before 09.30 to facilitate workers who commute using bike and train.

“We support the development of a Greenway network and have been active supporters of the Foyle Greenway. We want to see Greenways planned and built alongside the upgraded A6 and A5 roads. People Before Profit works to ensure that there is no contradiction between the interests of cycling and rail – opposing any removal of rail lines which might be re-opened.”

Jemima Higgins Alliance YES YES YES
Comments: “I’m proud to fully endorse the NI Bicycle Strategy. Alliance has long recognised that the improvement of cycling infrastructure can yield a huge range of health, social, economic and environmental benefits.

“As a regular cyclist, I recognise the importance of building upon our existing cycling infrastructure and increasing education to make streets safer for all road users.

“I fully support implementation of the cycling strategy and a wide range of enhanced cycling provision in Northern Ireland, including:

  1. Increased investment in cycling of at least £10 per head of population.
  2. The development and realisation of the health, rural regeneration and tourism potential of Greenways across the region and where possibly with connectivity to the rest of the island.
  3. An Active Travel Act to incorporate cycling and walking provision into land-use planning and new development.

“Alliance is committed to work with everyone to make this the best cycling region in these islands.”

Gareth Martin UUP YES YES YES
Comments: “I am happy to pledge my support for all 3 of your policies, indeed I am proud to say that the Ulster Unionist Party manifesto has a section on active travel which outlines our commitment to them.”
Alex Maskey Sinn Féin YES YES YES
Comments: “I have no hesitation in joining my party colleagues in supporting this campaign Election Cycle 2016.

Our 5 West Belfast candidates fully support the campaign. We are a united party whose representatives stand by policy.”

Fra McCann Sinn Féin YES YES YES
Comments: “Our 5 West Belfast candidates fully support the campaign. We are a united party whose representatives stand by policy.”
Jennifer McCann Sinn Féin YES YES YES
Comments: “Our 5 West Belfast candidates fully support the campaign. We are a united party whose representatives stand by policy.”
Rosie McCorley Sinn Féin YES YES YES
Comments: “Our 5 West Belfast candidates fully support the campaign. We are a united party whose representatives stand by policy.”
Frank McCoubrey DUP ? ? ?
Comments:
Ellen Murray Greens YES YES YES
Comments: “As an everyday bicycle rider who uses my bicycle for upwards of 90% of my travel, I am keenly supportive of all three policy asks here, as are the Green Party of Northern Ireland.

“I support a £25/person/year dedicated cycling budget to make accessible, contiguous and protected infrastructure in urban areas a reality across Northern Ireland. By providing people of all ages with safe and fit-for-purpose cycle infrastructure across the region, we can expect a significant modal shift towards active transport, while also improving accessibility of our towns and cities for families and disabled people. The public health outcomes of cycling investment are clearly demonstrable across several EU states, and our population will benefit financially, and through improved quality of life, from a shift to cycling and other active transport modes, not to mention the long-term return on investment for the health service.

“I support a strong traffic-free greenways strategy with funding attached to enable rural inter-town and inter-village active travel routes across the region, improving accessibility to rural locations while incentivising rural development and promoting tourism opportunities. The public health of rural communities is often overlooked in policy discussions, and greenway development is one of many steps we can and should take to address some of these growing concerns for rural communities.

“I support the introduction of an Active Travel Bill which incorporates cycling and walking provision, and accessibility impact assessment considerations for each, into land-use planning and new developments, both rurally and within urban areas. I would also support legislative measures, where within the remit of the NI Assembly, to incentivise bicycle- and pedestrian-centred developments within urban centres, and a move towards a cellular block structure for town centres and residential areas, to strongly limit through traffic while retaining access for emergency services, deliveries and service, residents and disabled people.

“Cycling is a massive part of my life, and is something which has greatly improved my quality of life. As a disabled person, and as someone who lives on very low income currently, I have seen the benefits which bicycles can bring for mobility, quality of life, and the bank balance, both personally and on a wider public health scale. I would be keen to prioritise cycling and accessibility of our transport system generally during my time in the Assembly if I was elected. We have pressing environmental, financial, public health and urban liveability concerns facing us, and cycling can begin to address all of these in a significant way.”

Pat Sheehan Sinn Féin YES YES YES
Comments: “Our 5 West Belfast candidates fully support the campaign. We are a united party whose representatives stand by policy.”

DUP – Democratic Unionist Party
PBPA – People Before Profit Alliance
SDLP – Social Democratic and Labour Party
UUP – Ulster Unionist Party

If you’re a candidate and would like to share your views on our questions to make Northern Ireland a better place for cycling, then we want to hear from you. Please email us at nigreenways@gmail.com and we’ll update this page as soon as possible.

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Election Cycle 2016 is a joint effort by the good people at:

Cycling_UK_logo        SustransLogo     cropped-nigreenways235

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