Election Cycle 2016 – North Down

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 Down 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
Steven Agnew Green YES YES YES
Comments: “As you will be aware the Green Party champions cycling and other forms of sustainable travel. For too long Northern Ireland has lagged behind other European countries in terms of cycling infrastructure. The development of the Comber Greenway has been a great boost to those communities who are able to access it. It is time we extended such provisions across Northern Ireland.

“I commit to campaigning for improved greenway provision, £10.00 per person spend on cycling infrastructure and for legislation to require active travel measures to be considered on all new developments. Thank you for contacting me on this important issue.”

John Brennan TUV ? ? ?
Comments: “I would like to pledge my support for the Bikefast manifesto. Investment and supportive legislation in cycling and Greenway. Is not only an investment in our societies health but also our economy and environment, I fully support your pledges.

“The SDLP is also very supportive of Greenway development as we believe that it will help build sustainable tourism such as walking, cycling and geotourism.“

Alan Chambers UUP NO YES YES
Comments: “Investment – I would certainly support a level of funding for cycling but I do not think at this stage it would be prudent of me to tie myself to a specific figure per head. Obviously there will be many competing financial demands made to the new mandate of the Assembly and it will be a challenge to prioritise. On that basis I will support investment but would be reluctant to commit to a figure until I am in a position to analyse all the budgets after the election, if elected. It may well be the case that the figures suggested could be achievable but I don’t think it would be good governance to glibly support a figure, at this stage, that I may not be able to stand over.
Greenways – No difficulty supporting this concept.
Active Travel Act – In principle I would support this but would wish to see the implications for all involved in delivery of such a concept.”
Gordon Dunne DUP YES YES YES
Comments: “I am happy to pledge my support to cyclists and this campaign to encourage healthier lifestyles through cycling.

“Cycling is a fantastic way to travel and exercise and I know locally how many enjoy the North Down Coastal Path on bikes.
“I am also pleased that DRD Minister has opened proposals to develop Greenways in conjunction with local Councils and this is something I welcome and will be encouraging further investment and any attempts to encourage cycling.”
Alex Easton DUP ? ? ?
Chris Eisenstadt UUP YES YES YES
Comments: “As a member of the party that put cycling high on the Agenda during our tenure in DRD, I am happy to support all three of these aims.

“I am happy to back £10 per head of population investment in cycling. It is vital for our health, the health of our environment to encourage more cycling. Additionally, any investment that safeguards cyclists on our roads will have my support.

“I wholeheartedly support Greenway development. They have the twin benefits of being safer methods of travel and of showcasing often under-appreciated locations in Northern Ireland.

“I would have to see the detail of an Active Travel Act, but in principle I am happy to support it. The concept that new planning and development should consider walking and cycling, as well as car and bus travel is fundamentally good.”

Stephen Farry Alliance YES YES YES
Comments: “I am happy to give my support to these points.”
Maria Lourenço NILRC YES YES YES
Comments: “Myself and my Labour Party Candidates representing NILRC at Assembly elections strongly support extra investment is needed on a continuous basis. This will facilitate the creation of other Greenways project nationally. Legislation is very important so the projects can provide a safe environment to all users.
I would like to see the use of helmets compulsory. We all working together can make Northern Ireland a better place for cycling.

“Wonderful to see Northern Ireland stepping up in such environmental projects. Myself and my children bicycle owners and would love to see your project to coastal routes.”

Therese McCartney Sinn Féin YES YES YES
Comments: “Yes, yes and yes.”
Comments: “I’d be delighted to support all of this, emphatically.”
Andrew Muir Alliance YES YES YES
Comments: “Delighted to support all three pledges.”
Comments: “I do like to cycle, though I don’t do enough. I do like to walk and again I don’t do enough. I do generally support your aims, though I wonder if we ought to start of with more basics,

“Near to where I live there is a road where cars are always parked – two wheels on the footpath and completely over the cycle path. Until we can get a greater responsibility of car (lorry and taxi etc.) drivers to respect other road (and footpath) users we have a struggle on out hands.

“Yes I agree that ALL new developments should have far greater provision for cycle paths and footpaths. Plus adequate parking so that we don’t have parking on footpaths. We have seen examples when designing new town from a green filed site (like Milton Keynes).

  1. Greater Investment – Yes
  2. Greenways – Yes
  3. Legislation – In principle I am against legislation for everything – especially when half the laws we have already can not be enforced. However there is a blanket law against parking on footpaths in London – but nowhere else in Britain. So there are areas where legislation might be appropriate.

“More and more people go to gyms and use exercise bicycles – wouldn’t it be better for them to get out into the country on proper bikes and get the fresh air. More vitamin D from photosynthesis and enjoy the wonderful countryside we have, here in Northern Ireland.

“Believe me – were I to be elected to the assembly – I will try to improve the plight of the pedestrian and the cyclist. Similarly I will try and reduce car use. For example, In my opinion, Children should walk to school. Maybe using walking buses. If parents were to walk them to school it might help make both parent and child healthier.”

Frank Shivers Conservatives ? ? ?
Comments: “I am very happy to support cycling. I have always been involved in cycling issues, raising issues around it with various Ministers, and for one year during this Assembly term was awarded the Fréd Award for Most Engaged Cycling MLA.”
Brian Wilson Independent ? ? ?

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:

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