Alliance Infrastructure spokesperson and North Down MLA Andrew Muir has criticised the Department for Infrastructure’s failure to respond to the review of special events on roads legislation prior to COVID-19 restrictions being eased.
The Assembly passed legislation in 2017 giving local authorities the power to approve the closure of roads for holding special events such as sport races. However, after criticism of the legislation, the Department agreed to a review which closed in September, having received over 800 responses. In spite of multiple questions from Mr Muir, the Department’s official response is yet to be released.
“It’s not good enough just as restrictions are finally easing, we still have bad legislation in place that will make such events harder to organise,” he said.
“The Department has had more than six months to formulate a response to the consultation. I urge the Minister to bring forward that response at the earliest opportunity. This legislation resulted in cancellation of numerous community running races and other fundraising events locally prior to the pandemic and needs changed.”
“Hopefully in the not too distant future, we will be in a position in Northern Ireland to host outdoor sporting events that are popular with local communities and promote an active lifestyle. After more than a year of living under restrictions, there is a lot of interest in such events. We need to have legislation in place making these events easier, not harder, to facilitate"