Election Cycle 2016 – East Antrim

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 East Antrim 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. (Social media contact details are not available for some candidates.)

Name Party Investment Greenways Legislation
Roy Beggs UUP YES YES YES
Comments: “I would like to confirm my support for the three policy asks in relation to investment in cycling.

“I enjoy cycling myself, and have successfully lobbied for cycle infrastructure improvements in my constituency of East Antrim.”

Stewart Dickson Alliance YES YES YES
Comments: “I fully support cycling. I am a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly All Party Group on Cycling and promote cycling as a healthy environmentally friendly mode of transport for work and leisure.”
Danny Donnelly Alliance YES YES YES
Comments: 

  1. “Investment – Yes. I fully support this level of investment in cycling. Promotion of cycling is good for health and good for the environment.
  2. Greenways – Yes. I fully support the development of Greenways. They provide opportunity for safe and enjoyable cycling. They could be a valuable contribution to our tourism industry. I was particularly struck by a recent suggestion to develop a greenway in the glens of Antrim along the old railway.
  3. Legislation – Yes. I fully support the introduction of an Active Travel Act. Designing cycle and walking provision into future developments will give the opportunity for cycling to grow across NI.”
David Hilditch DUP YES YES YES
Comments: “I am pleased to support the three policy areas you have highlighted. I believe cycling is one way of helping create a healthier community, creating social wellbeing and tackling issues like mental health. Any investment should see a return by the lessening of health issues associated with inactivity.”
Noel Jordan UKIP ? ? ?
Comments:
Gordon Lyons DUP YES YES NO
Comments: “As you may be aware, my party launched its manifesto for the Northern Ireland Assembly Election last week. ‘Our Plan For Northern Ireland’ includes the following commitment:
“The DUP is committed to developing a Greenway Network across Northern Ireland that provides traffic free space for walkers and cyclists for both leisure and commuting. We believe that this presents a perfect opportunity for partnership work and funding between the new Department of Infrastructure and the newly created 11 councils to develop such projects across Northern Ireland.”I recognise the significant benefits that cycling can have in terms of health and the economy and will work with the relevant stakeholders to ensure the implementation of our manifesto commitments in this regard.”
Jim McCaw PUP ? ? ?
Comments:
Margaret Anne McKillop SDLP YES YES YES
Comments: “The SDLP are happy to support the calls of Election Cycle 2016 – for investment, for greenways and legislation.

“The SDLP believes that there are many positives to be achieved from cycling – both from an economic and health perspective.

“We are very sympathetic to the needs of cyclists and the necessity to create a sustainable transport system for the whole of Northern Ireland. Cycle use cannot significantly develop without the right infrastructure and safety measures in place.

“The SDLP will explore plans for the development of Greenways, as we believe that the redevelopment of our Greenways will help build sustainable tourism such as walking and cycling.

“SDLP Belfast City Councillor Tim Attwood led the campaign that secured almost £700,000 from the Minister of Regional Development to introduce a public cycle hire scheme which will launch on April 27th 2015. The SDLP believes that Northern Ireland needs a long-term and dedicated strategy to improve cycling provision.

“A successful scheme will reduce the number of road accidents involving bicycles and will increase cycle use across the North. We believe that the growing cycling culture in Northern Ireland must be supported by the department if it is to grow and flourish.”

Oliver McMullan Sinn Féin ? ? ?
Comments:
Maureen Morrow UUP YES YES YES
Comments: “I would like to register my support for all three of your cycling policies. Mid and East Antrim BC recently received a very interesting and informative presentation from a representative of Sustrans.

“I agree that £10 per head is a small price to pay for the safety of cyclists, especially parents with young families who want to encourage their children to cycle as a healthy outdoor activity.

“The development of Greenways in the MEA area is a great opportunity for providing safe areas to cycle by redeveloping old narrow gage railway tracks. This not only would provide areas for locals to cycle but another wonderful tourist attraction to allow visitors to explore the beauty of County Antrim from off the beaten track.

“I fully agree and would be fully supportive of the fact that legislation needs to be put in place in the form of an Active Travel Act to ensure that consideration is given to cycling and walking provision when planning new developments.

“Thank you for the great work that Bikefast is doing in the East Antrim area and throughout Northern Ireland.”

Dawn Patterson Greens YES YES YES
Comments: “I enjoy cycling when I can and appreciate the benefits of cycling and sustainable travel and the importance of good cycling infrastructure. I am happy to support these action requests.

  1. Investment: Yes. The Green Party pledges in it’s manifesto to support a £25 per head of population investment, in line with the European standard as supported by the European Cyclists Forum
  2. Greenways: Yes. The development of the Newtownabbey Way has been a great boost to those communities who are able to access it.
  3. Legislation: Yes. We need to see a move away from a car based infrastructure and lifestyle towards healthier and more public options, by encouraging people to live in cycle and walking friendly environments.”
Alastair Ross DUP YES YES YES
Comments: “As a cyclist myself, and as someone actively involved in bringing the Giro d’Italia Big Start to Northern Ireland, I very much support supporting cycling and the extension of the greenways.”
Conor Sheridan CCLA YES YES YES
Comments: “Being both an active runner & cyclist; I know very well the challenges facing cyclists & I know very well the benefits of cycling with regards to health. I would personally like to work closely with your representatives & the public to promote cycling not just in East Antrim but Northern Ireland.

“I honestly think it is a great tourism opportunity and with the right legislation in place, it can work. The opportunity to open up the Glens (one of the most beautiful views in the world) to cyclists sounds amazing.

“I do support funding for cycling, £10 is a small price per head but I would call for big businesses to donate heavily towards this cause too, this will hopefully get money that we are potentially going to lose though the lowering of corporation tax (£300 million) going directly into improving our infrastructure.

“I do support the development of traffic free greenways as this can potentially open up the beautiful views of the Glens to everyone starting from Larne & it is a massive tourism opportunity. The possibility of having something in place where people/tourists can potentially get of the train or boat at Larne, shop & potentially cycle to Carnfunnock or further down the coast is something I’d campaign for. Even the opportunity to cycle to Ballyboley forest is there too; as the A8 caters for cyclists but more needs to be done.

“I am supportive of the fact that legislation needs to be put in place in the form of an Active Travel Act to ensure that consideration is given to cycling and walking provision when planning new developments.”

John Stewart UUP YES YES YES
Comments: “As keen cyclist I would be very supportive of all three area: Investment, Greenways and Legislation.

“I congratulate you on the great work to date and hope that all candidates will show their support for this campaign.”

Ruth Wilson TUV ? ? ?
Comments:

CCLA – Cross-Community Labour Alternative
DUP – Democratic Unionist Party
PUP – Progressive Unionist Party
SDLP – Social Democratic and Labour Party
TUV – Traditional Unionist Voice
UKIP – United Kingdom Independence 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:

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