Wednesday 05 May 2021
Green Party Deputy Leader Malachai O'Hara has criticised the Department for Infrastructure on their lack of vision for active travel in Belfast after figures showed that only 2.98 kilometres of pop-up cycle infrastructure and no segregated cycling was installed by the Department during the first year of the pandemic.
The figures were obtained by Malachai O’Hara in correspondence with the Department for Infrastructure.
Malachai O'Hara, a Belfast City Councillor, said: "This is a depressing static and one that shows a serious lack of vision on the part of the Infrastructure Department and Minister Mallon.
"The first lockdown provided a perfect opportunity to transform active travel infrastructure within our city and provide safer cycling options. The Department of Infrastructure failed to get of first gear when it came to the provision of cycling infrastructure across Belfast.
"Botoga, Colombia has led the way in terms of world cities with 76km of temporary cycle lanes created in the past year. Other approaches and new thinking have worked elsewhere - a slow streets movement has been created in Oakland, California with 74 miles of streets set aside for recreation.
"In Paris, 650km of temporary and permanent bikeways were created while Rome introduced 150km of its own.
"The Department for Infrastructure has not just missed the boat on this one, they weren't anywhere near the slipway when the boat left.
"If we are to deal with the traffic congestion and dirty air that plaques Belfast, we need to provide modern, sustainable infrastructure and prioritise walkers and cyclists."
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498