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Andrew Muir MLA

Alliance Party Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for North Down 

Finance and Infrastructure Spokesperson

Former Mayor of North Down and Councillor 

Member of NI Assembly Infrastructure and Public Accounts Committees


CONTACT DETAILS

Casework & Constituency queries 

Telephone 028 9052 0351 Email office@andrewmuir.net 

Room 279, Northern Ireland Assembly, Parliament Buildings, Ballymiscaw, Stormont, Belfast, BT4 3XX 

Telephone 07813 945411 Email mail@andrewmuir.net

Muir calls for Minister to take the brakes off Greenway Funding

The Minister for Infrastructure needs to release funding earmarked for Greenway Schemes as we seek to encourage more Active Travel.

With the amount of people out walking on the increase and government keen to encourage more Active Travel it’s frustrating that the Department for Infrastructure is holding back monies for Greenway Schemes across Northern Ireland


Many Councils, including Ards and North Down, have developed schemes but had to app
ly the brakes whilst they await funding to enable to them to proceed to the next stage. This follows extensive consultations and scoping studies previously undertaken aiming to achieve works which make routes more accessible whilst sensitively respecting the surrounding environment and taking into account views expressed.


I have submitted a formal question to the Minister for Infrastructure for an update on Greenway funding in the hope that she puts in the wheels in motion and will continue to push for progress keen to ensure we can get the schemes developed moving”.

Information on Ards and North Down Council Greenway Plans at https://www.ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk/about-the-council/consultations/greenways-network

Our ‘New Normal’ must be cleaner and greener than the past

Our new ‘New Normal’ to be cleaner and greener than the past. The need to tackle Climate Change to avert catastrophe will still be with us once COVID-19 passes, with a real risk that poor air quality returns if we don’t take big decisions now to avoid clogging our streets up with cars.

As Alliance Party Infrastructure Spokesperson I welcome Minister Nichola Mallon’s announcement to appoint a Walking and Cycling Champion but urge that practical actions are be taken without delay.

Decisions taken in the next few weeks about how we travel in Northern Ireland will effect generations to come. It is therefore crucial that the Department for Infrastructure and wider Executive grasp the challenge and lead historic step change towards active, sustainable and accessible travel. Recent reports that traffic in Northern Ireland has not fallen to the same levels as rest of UK and Ireland are a matter of real concern which ought to motivate all Executive Ministers to take swift action.

I welcome news the Infrastructure Minister is prepared to consider my suggestion that government offer discount vouchers for purchase and repair of Bicycles. A simple but perhaps effective way to boost Active Travel.

Capital Investment plans must also be reviewed and reprioritised to reflect new priorities of 2020 with significant active and public transport provision required to enable both social distancing now and a more sustainable future ahead.

Our cycling before Social Distancing was a term we heard about

The public sector also ought to lead the way in moving towards new working arrangements including working from home, staggered and flexible working patterns plus video conferencing, all embraced as the norm

Further action such as Bus and Rail Fare Promotions, amending legislation to enable a more speedy introduction of cycling provision and bus lanes should be considered alongside a ban on pavement parking plus assistance and guidance for the Taxi industry to continue in the context of social distancing requirements.

Change of legislation needed to promote active lifestyles, says Muir

If we are to properly promote active lifestyles, there needs to be a change of legislation to help organisers of local sporting events across North Down and beyond.

I met with Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon on Monday 9 March 2020 alongside representatives from Athletics Northern Ireland, Triathlon Ireland and the Northern Ireland Sports Forum, to discuss the Roads Miscellaneous Provisions Act (NI) 2010, which permits the closure of roads for the holding of special events.


 From left, John Allen (Athletics NI), Darren Coombes (Triathlon Ireland), Andrew Muir MLA, David Seaton (Athletics NI), Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon MLA and Ciaran Kearney (NI Sports Forum).

New legislation in 2017 gave local authorities the power to approve such events on roads. 

This legislation was pushed through just as the Assembly was collapsing, with many far-reaching negative consequences upon local communities and sporting bodies.

It comes at a time when we are trying to encourage active lifestyles and community participation. However, with devolution now restored, an opportunity now exists to fix this bad law. I was therefore grateful to the Minister for meeting and listening to the issues experienced by the officials from the relevant representative bodies.

I am pleased there are plans to undertake a review with a consultation to gather the views, with an aim to agree a way forward by early autumn. If we are to properly promote active lifestyles, the legislation needs changed and organisers should not be hit with prohibitive costs and rules, resulting in significantly higher entry fees and the cancellation of events.

Alliance Conference 2020 Shaping our Future


Shaping our Future Panel Discussion Speech

Alliance Conference 2020

 You can also listen at http://tiny.cc/rwfzkz

As we prepare to celebrate the fifteenth Anniversary of the Alliance Party’s foundation it’s truly uplifting to see the party full of passionate people of all ages eager to shape a new future for everyone across Northern Ireland.

A new future breaking away from the old divisions and intolerances of the past.

A new future where the blackboard so well presented in Derry Girls is considered a novel reflection of an old forgotten past. For the record, I keep my toaster in the cupboard and hate soup. I never really thought whether you wore a gilet or liked soup was an indication of your religion but in the new Northern Ireland where more and more people are neither Catholic or Protestant the old ways of pigeon holing people just ain’t relevant.


As has been seen in recent elections, it’s increasingly clear that people are throwing aside the orange and green lenses by which nearly everything has previously been viewed and instead opting for clear, bright, sharp lenses which show a new rainbow society of minorities.

Now that the Assembly is back it’s vital we continue the surge towards shaping the new future people demanded and voted for not just once, or twice but three times last year.

No longer can the Assembly be seen as a by word for inaction, intolerance and veto with minority rights denied, difficult decisions deferred and a future focused on the past rather than the hopes and dreams felt today.

The Alliance Party is there to shape a new future for everyone reflecting the change that is already a happening. Fact that this year will feature an historic occasion with Pride Festivals not just occurring in Belfast and Derry~Londonderry but also Newry, Larne, Cookstown, and Fermanagh is just one example of the change occurring in communities shaped by local people and deserving of support. Raising Pride flags or lighting up a building in Rainbow colours to mark such occasions really shouldn’t be such a drag.

That’s why Alliance representatives such as Rachael Ferguson, Sorcha Eastwood, Danny Donnelly and Eóin Tennyson are so important, championing a shared present and pushing for a future resisted by some in other parties but yearned for by the people.

The Militant Moderates, the change makers, the peace builders, the ones delivering today and shaping our future for tomorrow.