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Cycle lanes must get top priority

There is no doubt that much more needs to be done in Belfast and across Northern Ireland to encourage more of us to use our bicycles for the journeys we make every day (News, May 2).

Cycling is good for our health, the environment and, given the price of petrol, it's good for our wallets, too.

In Belfast, cycling levels have risen by more than 150% since 2000. But the major increase in use has been on traffic-free greenways away from the city centre.

Many people who own bikes are put off using them because they perceive cycling on our roads to be unsafe.

Pedestrian and cycle safety should become the top priority for our streets. For too long our roads have been designed with cycle provision being the space left behind after cars have been provided for.

We need real space on our streets for those on bikes and high-quality cycle lanes that don't have cars parked in them.

STEVEN PATTERSON

Director, Sustrans Northern Ireland

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