Belfast Telegraph

Giro d'Italia: £1m plan to build on legacy

By Claire McNeilly

Transport Minister Danny Kennedy has said he hopes the Giro d'Italia will leave Northern Ireland with a cycling legacy.

And he promised to use the momentum garnered by the event's success to pursue a "cycling revolution in Northern Ireland".

The Department for Regional Development (DRD) set up a cycling unit at the end of last year, aimed at developing a much more extensive programme of cycling paths in Northern Ireland.

With over £1m devoted to the introduction of a Belfast Bike Scheme next April, Mr Kennedy said his goal was to make the city more bicycle-friendly.

"I'm interested in creating the conditions whereby we can really focus on a cycling revolution in the future," he said.

"I want the DRD to be aware of the importance of cycling when we're building new roads in our network that we make provision for cycle lanes. If they can do it in Amsterdam and Copenhagen or in other European cities, then I'm confident that we can achieve the same in Belfast."

Northern Ireland Greenways blog writer Jonathan Hobbs said he hoped the bike hire scheme would raise the visibility of cycling in Belfast.

"There needs to be substantial investment in the safety infrastructure to introduce people to the idea of using a bike to get around, but hopefully bike hire will be a catalyst to making the city more cyclist- friendly," he said.

Belfast Telegraph