Sustrans calls for better walking and cycling infrastructure in Northern Ireland

Sustrans is calling for the Department for Infrastructure to focus more on improving walking and cycling infrastructure in Northern Ireland, following the results of a public satisfaction survey.

The Continuous Household Survey 2017/18 asked for the public’s views on satisfaction with public transport, walking and cycling in Northern Ireland, resulting in the publication of the ‘Walking, Cycling and Public Transport in Northern Ireland 2017/18’ report.

Just 55 per cent of those surveyed said they were satisfied with the current situation for cycling and cyclists in their local area, 72 per cent were satisfied with the public transport provision in their area and 36 per cent were not satisfied with the situation for walking in their area.

The main reasons why people weren’t satisfied with cycling were the ‘lack of cycle lanes’, at 69 per cent, ‘too much traffic’, at 42 per cent and ‘traffic goes too fast’, at 41 per cent.

Gordon Clarke, Sustrans Northern Ireland director said: "The results of this survey send a clear message that people want to walk and cycle but poor infrastructure and too much traffic going too fast is putting them off.

"We have been calling for the Department to implement the Belfast Bicycle Network plan and provide similar protected cycle lanes for cities, towns and villages across Northern Ireland.

"It is encouraging that 17 per cent of respondents to the survey said they would be likely to cycle any journeys of up to three miles.

"This would go a long way to tackle congestion in our cities, as the annual Travel Survey shows, in Belfast, almost half the journeys we make are less than two miles.

"We also need to ensure our footpaths are suitable and well-lit to encourage people to walk more. 

"Increasing the number of active travel journeys is a Draft Programme for Government priority and doing so will improve the public’s health, the environment and liveability of our towns and residential areas."

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