North Down Alliance MLA and Alliance Party Infrastructure and Finance Spokesperson Andrew Muir MLA raised the need to invest in new Active Travel initiatives in North Down with the Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon MLA at Stormont on Monday 22 March 2021.
The keen runner, cyclist and Alliance MLA wants to see an Active Travel Hub established in Bangor similar to the successful operation already in place at C.S. Lewis Square in East Belfast alongside investment in the One Path initiative to better enable respectful shared use of the North Down Coastal Path.
Commenting on the issue, Andrew Muir MLA stated “With just £22,500 due to be spent this year on Active Travel within North Down it’s essential the Infrastructure Minister cuts us a bigger slice of cake both in terms of day to day resource spending and one off capital projects.
Whilst Greenway Capital Investment Plans are being progressed the complete lack of day to day resource spending on Active Travel initiatives must end. Only by ploughing money in new innovative measures will we achieve the Green Recovery needed.
With the Active Travel Hub in C.S. Lewis Square proving to be a roaring success acting as a real hub for cyclists and great way to better encourage Active Travel action must be swiftly taken to introduce something similar in Bangor encouraging people to make the journey into and around the Town by two as opposed to four wheels.
Already rolled out along the Comber Greenway, the One Path initiative has also proven to be a good way to tackle conflict and encourage good respectful relations along busy paths used by walkers, runners, cyclists and more. With the numbers using the North Down Coastal Path at an all-time high in light of the pandemic it’s essential the Department for Infrastructure fully fund the introduction of the One Path initiative and help us together encourage shared, safe and respectful use of the jewel in North Down’s crown.”
More information on Active Travel Hubs at https://www.sustrans.org.uk/our-blog/projects/2019/northern-ireland/active-travel-hubs/ and One Path Initiative at https://www.sustrans.org.uk/for-professionals/our-approach/one-path-initiative-developing-a-positive-culture-on-busy-paths/#:~:text=The%20One%20Path%20Initiative%20is,rather%20than%20rules%20and%20regulations.