Strangford Election Cycle 2017

When you go to vote on Thursday 2nd March 2017 in Strangford cycling might not be your top priority, but where candidates stand might have a bearing on where you place your preferences. We contacted all of the candidates standing for election to the Northern Ireland Assembly – below you can see if they responded and what they think of our ask:

Will you commit to invest at least £10 per head of population on cycling measures and pledge to support and build upon the urban and rural cycling strategies launched since August 2015?

Kellie Armstrong (Alliance)

“I will continue my commitment to Active Travel. As a member of the Infrastructure Committee I supported cycling, development of Greenways and Active Travel. I look forward to supporting the Dept. for Infrastructure to bring forward an Active Travel Act.

“After election I will support:

  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.”

Ricky Bamford (Green)

“As with my colleagues in the Green Party we pledge to support urban and rural cycling strategies.

“However living beside Comber Greenway can I have a pledge in return? That you will support and encourage responsible cycling?  It is impossible for parents and small children to walk with confidence on the Greenway without constant vigilance. Cyclists often do not give warning of their approach or go much too fast on a path that is not dedicated for their sole use. With rights comes responsibility and it would be good if this was stressed through your members.”

Jonathan Bell (Independent)

No response so far.

Scott Benton (Conservatives)

No response so far.

Joe Boyle (SDLP)

“If elected to the NI Assembly I would be supportive of your suggested figure of £10 per head of population on cycle measures.

I would also be supportive of your additional questions. Living in Portaferry on the Ards Peninsula, I am mindfully aware that cycling has in recent years grown into an activity that many participate in with various cycling clubs weaving their way regularly through the peninsula and arriving in Portaferry.

I would like to see greater investment within our infrastructure as the A20 Newtownards to Portaferry is a very busy winding 20 miles of road and can be quite challenging at times for both cyclists and motorists.

With well organised cycling events taking place regularly involving the Ards Peninsula there comes along with these events an additional level of tourism which contributes to the local economy and this has to be welcomed by everyone – particularly the small businesses operating in the small towns and villages within the Ards Peninsula and throughout the Strangford Constituency.”

Stephen Cooper (TUV)

No response so far.

Simon Hamilton (DUP)

No response so far.

Dermot Kennedy (Sinn Féin)

“I can confirm that Sinn Féin supports your 3 key asks as detailed below:

  • Investment: Sinn Féin supports funding for cycling of at least £10 per head of population, so as to encourage safer cycling conditions and see more people start cycling
  • Greenways: Sinn Féin supports the Greenways Strategy and the development of traffic-free greenways across the country to boost rural regeneration and tourism.
  • Legislation: Sinn Féin supports the introduction of an Active Travel Act to incorporate cycling and walking provision into land-use planning and new developments.

“Post-election I look forward to continuing to work with you and your colleagues as we seek to emphasise the health and social benefits of cycling.”

Michelle McIlveen (DUP)

“My support hasn’t changed from last year. Best wishes with the campaign.”

Jimmy Menagh (Independent)

No response so far.

Mike Nesbitt (UUP)

“Sign me up – again!!!”

Philip Smith (UUP)

“Many thanks for taking the time to ask for my views on cycling provision, they haven’t changed much since the last election!

“I fully endorse the commitments made in our 2016 manifesto, which states the Ulster Unionist Party…” are convinced of the benefits and committed to promoting cycling as a feasible mode of transport for everyday journeys. But we acknowledge that to do this effectively we need to create the conditions that make this viable and safe.

“The next Executive must continue to develop the infrastructure that will nurture a culture of cycling. We would:

  • Realise the vision set out in the 25-year bicycle strategy;
  • Support the development and implementation of a network of traffic-free cycling infrastructure;
  • Support accommodation of active travel being a consideration in planning new developments.

“Within my own constituency I have been working with the local Council and community organisations to promote, develop and extend the Comber Greenway.”

Peter Weir (DUP)

“Happy to agree to agree to all of the pledges.”

Read more about Election Cycle 2017.

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