Belfast Cycle City is a new campaign which seeks positive change to cycling provision in the city of Belfast, with an ambitious vision of transforming the city into one of the top ten cycling cities in the UK by 2020.
- create a new 10 year cycle strategy in 2010
- set a target of 10% of all journeys to be made by bicycle by 2020
- increase annual cycle spending (from the current £1) to £15 per person
Their immediate goal is to have support from half of the City Councillors, before taking the campaign to Stormont, to the desk of the Minister in charge of transport policy, Conor Murphy.
In cooperation with Sustrans and the Northern Ireland Cycling Initiative, Belfast Friends of the Earth have developed a vision report for cycling in Belfast. The report highlights the inadequacies in current cycle provision and promotion and presents the potential benefits of a cycle-orientated city, and can be viewed online at the Belfast Cycle City website. To celebrate the launch of the report, a mass cycle from Belfast City Hall to Comber village was organised and was a great success, with over 50 cyclists joining the ride on a sunny Sunday morning. Belfast Friends of the Earth co-ordinator Andrew McMurray said:
Cycling is win-win all around, an environmentally friendly mode of transport, keeping the population active and healthy, reducing congestion and financially affordable to all. Join the campaign and let’s deliver a Cycling City we are proud of!
This is an exciting initiative and, if successful, would transform the cycling provision in my home city of Belfast. If recent letters in the Belfast Telegraph are anything to go by, I expect there will be vociferous objections from the motoring lobby, and Belfast Friends of the Earth will have a tough job ahead of them to get their reforms implemented. I’ll be keeping a watchful eye on their progress.
The Belfast Cyle City 2020 Vision report is available for free from the Belfast Cycle City website.
To show your support for the campaign, join the Belfast Cycle City Facebook Group and sign a petition to call on the City Councillors to make Belfast one of the top ten cycling cities in the UK by 2020.
Like the man said, it’s win-win all around.