Election Cycle 2016 – North 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.


The responses received from candidates standing in North Antrim 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.

Name Party Investment Greenways Legislation
Jim Allister TUV ? ? ?
Donna Anderson UKIP ? ? ?
Jennifer Breslin Greens YES YES YES
Comments: “Yes, yes, yes.”
Connor Duncan SDLP NO YES YES
Comments: “I will do my best if elected to the next assembly to support cycling. I see the major benefits of cycling and how we it can improve health, jobs and tourism. I will support Greenways and an Active Travel Act in the next assembly term.”
Paul Frew DUP ? ? ?
Timothy Gaston TUV ? ? ?
Kathryn Johnston NILRC YES YES YES
Comments: “I certainly support the NI Bicycle Strategy, and the work of Cycling UK, Sustrans NI, and NI Greenways / Bikefast. I am a very keen walker, but sadly not a cyclist as I am too nervous to cycle in the current traffic.

“However, my two sons are cyclists and regularly travel around Belfast on their bikes. My cousin, at the age of 75, is still a keen cyclist and has ridden in Colombia and Peru. So I am well aware of the problems faced by cyclists here.

“In addition to supporting the Bicycle Strategy, I would also support the development of a radically reformed public transport system throughout NI eg. Translink routes and services in Belfast and in rural areas are not fit for purpose and contribute to the growing structural inequality within NI.”

Phillip Logan DUP ? ? ?
Stephen McFarland Alliance YES YES YES
Comments: “Alliance fully supports sustainable investment in all forms of transport, including cycling, expanding our cycling uptake has the potential to help increase people daily exercise and cycling clubs provide fun social activities. After the positive impact of new green ways in Belfast and the legacy of the Giro D’Italia, I hope to be able to do what I can in the next Assembly as part of a large Alliance team to build on this.

“In 2014, when I ran for local council in Ballymoney, I stressed the possibility of turning abandon railway lines in the Northern Irish countryside to new safe cycling and walking routes while campaigning on the doorsteps. I am pleased to hear that plans are already underway for Bushmills and Ballycastle and I hope to be able to fight for more across my constituency.”

David McIlveen DUP ? ? ?
Daithí McKay Sinn Féin YES YES YES
Comments: “I am a firm supporter of the bicycle strategy published last year and passionately believe that our old railway lines should be brought back to life by creating a network of greenways. This would especially richen our tourist offering here in North Antrim.

“Sinn Féin supports the funding for cycling of at least £10 per head of population. This received the unanimous support of our party membership at our Ard Fheis (Annual conference).

“Cycling infrastructure and a safer cycling environment will be key in helping the Executive and the Assembly tackle the future challenges of obesity and diabetes and the pressures they present to our Health budget. We need to invest to save and cycling is something that more people would engage in if they believed it was safe to do so.
I would like to see more legislation being brought forward in the new Assembly to promote cycling including an Active Travel Act.”

Mervyn Storey DUP YES YES YES
Comments: “I agree with all  three simple policy asks around cycling investment, building a greenway network and delivering an Active Travel Act.”
Comments: “Yes, yes, yes.”
Andrew Wright UUP YES YES NO

  1. I agree that we should endeavour to make cycling safer and across Northern Ireland we have seen more cycle lanes appearing.  We should endeavour to create more where possible.  We should encourage more people into cycling through schemes such as that which the Northern Ireland civil service introduced by supplying a loan in order to buy a bike. Belfast city council has also recently introduced Boris bikes.  I agree with these initiatives and would encourage more of the same.
  2. I believe cycling has a positive impact on tourism and would like to see the creation of more cycle routes on public land such as forests and public parks in order to boost our tourism and leisure industries.  The recent Giro d’Italia has increased the use of the Ulster Cycle Way which is a welcome boost for local cycling and will hopefully open up this route for tourists.
  3. I believe that cycling is best promoted through a public led process. Too often forcing laws on people has the opposite effect than desired, reducing support for the proposed policy.  Northern Ireland’s new Council led community planning laws require extensive public consultation at which stage proposals for cycling and walking provision can be advanced where practicable.

As a rowing coach and cyclist I know all too well the physical and mental health benefits that accrue from cycling and exercise generally, both to the individual and to society.  The promotion of cycling has a vital role to play in combating the high levels of obesity and associated rise in health issues within our society.  If elected I will work to promote cycling initiatives across our society in order to promote both the health and economic benefits within Northern Ireland.

DUP – Democratic Unionist Party
NILRC – Northern Ireland Labour Representation Committee
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.


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

Cycling_UK_logo        SustransLogo     cropped-nigreenways235


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