New cycling strategy to give Northern Ireland more pedal power
Northern Ireland is gearing up for a cycling revolution.
New greenways and cycle paths may be built in a bid to bring the province into line with cycling havens like Denmark and The Netherlands, according to the new Bicycle Strategy released yesterday.
The £12.5m scheme was unveiled after months of consultation revealed that cyclists here wanted better infrastructure and greater education for other road users.
Andrew Grieve, head of the cycling unit at the Department for Regional Development, said: "Although we have spent over £10m on cycle lanes in the last 10 years, there's a feeling that it's a bit fragmented, so there was a general desire for consistent and coherent cycling infrastructure."
Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy said: "My vision in that Northern Ireland will be a community where people have the freedom and confidence to travel by bicycle for everyday journeys.
"I consider it important that my strategy sets out the bigger picture, outlining all the elements that need to be addressed to make Northern Ireland a cycling community that is comparable with our other European neighbours," he added.
Meanwhile, one of the most popular Belfast Bike stations had to be closed down yesterday.
The bike stand for the scheme at Central Station - where scores of commuters use the bikes to get to work or university - had to be closed because of damage at the terminal and docking points.
Belfast Bikes has not indicated when the cycle station will reopen and said the damage was being evaluated and repaired.