Election Cycle 2016 – Foyle

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 from candidates standing in Foyle will be 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
Kathleen Bradley Independent ? ? ?
Comments:
Maurice Devenney Independent ? ? ?
Comments:
Gerard Diver SDLP YES YES YES
Comments: “The SDLP are happy to support the calls of Election Cycle 2016 – for investment, for greenways and legislation. Our party believes that there are many positives to be achieved from cycling – both from an economic, environmental 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, and there’s a responsibility on government at all levels to support this development.

“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. A good example of this is the Greenways developed by Derry City Council next to the river Foyle, which have transformed our riverfront and was supported by all SDLP councillors.

“In Belfast, 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 Northern Ireland. We believe that the growing cycling culture in Northern Ireland must be supported by the department if it is to grow and flourish.”

Alan Dunlop Conservatives ? ? ?
Comments:
Mark H Durkan SDLP YES YES YES
Comments: “I support investment in the promotion of more sustainable means of transport. It is great that we are seeing more cyclists on our roads and I worked closely with former DRD Minister,  Danny Kennedy, to promote cycling. We also did so on a North – South basis through the NSMC. More cyclists on our roads sadly led to an increase in the number if cyclists killed or injured on our roads. I commissioned specific campaigns aimed at promoting cycling safety and have funded cycling programmes through Road Safety Community Grants.

“I recognise the potential environmental, economic and health  benefits of an increased and enhanced greenway network. Locally, I am working with community groups and the council to get funding for an extension of our existing greenway to Strathfoyle.

“I support the idea of such legislation being brought forward and in my Strategic Planning Policy Statement and in decisions made I have sought to reduce dependence on cars. Walkability and connectivity are key considerations in the assessment of applications and my department’s ‘Living Places’ document has won awards.”

Colum Eastwood 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.”

Mary Hassan Greens YES YES YES
Comments: “I’m happy to pledge “Yes” to all three questions. Best of luck with the campaign!”
Julia Kee UUP YES YES YES
Comments: “I am happy to support all three of your pledges.”
John Lindsay CISTA YES YES YES
Comments: “CISTA have 4 candidates standing and we all say yes.”
Eamonn McCann 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.”

Raymond McCartney Sinn Féin YES YES YES
Comments: “I also support the Greenway pledge!”
Chris McCaw Alliance YES YES YES
Comments: “The Alliance Party is fully committed to the delivery of first class integrated, sustainable and active travel for the people of Northern Ireland and recognises the multiple health, environmental, social and economic benefits of cycling in particular.

“Chris Lyttle chaired the All Party Assembly Group on Cycling and to work with organisations like Sustrans NI and NI Greenways to mobilise MLAs in support of cycling.

“The APG on Cycling hosted a number of important stakeholder events to facilitate supportive input from MLA and NGOs into the Assembly Regional Development Committee Cycling Inquiry and the Department for Regional Development Cycling Strategy.

“The APG on Cycling also hosted and participated in events to promote Bike Week and the Sustrans/DRD Cycling Unit Belfast Bike Life Report which has established public support for increased investment in cycling provision.

“Alliance has also submitted multiple cycling related questions to Regional Development Ministers to support enhanced cycle provision and to raise awareness of underinvestment in comparison with other regions, which DRD has estimated will decrease from £4.17 per head of population in 2014/15 to only £1.30 per head of population for 2015/16.

“Alliance Party MLAs will therefore fully support a wide range of enhanced cycling provision in Northern Ireland, including:

  • Increased investment in cycling of at least £10 per head of population.
  • 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.
  • An Active Travel Act to incorporate cycling and walking provision into land-use planning and new development.

“We will work with everyone to make this the best cycling region in these islands.”

Ann McCloskey Independent YES YES YES
Comments: “As a cyclist myself, tho of the fair weather variety, and an environmentalist, this pushes all the right buttons for me. If elected I will support any initiatives which get people out of cars, whether for work or recreation. The only qualifier I would add is that we in Derry see most capital investment sucked to the greater Belfast area, and so I’d like any investment to be spent in a fair way, perhaps weighted as to population numbers or tourist potential.”
Martin McGuinness Sinn Féin YES YES YES
Comments: “Yes,yes & yes.”
Maeve McLaughlin Sinn Féin YES YES YES
Comments: “Fully support the three policy asks!”
Gary Middleton DUP ? ? ?
Comments:

CISTA – Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol
DUP – Democratic Unionist Party
PBPA – People Before Profit Alliance
SDLP – Social Democratic and Labour Party
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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