Cycling UK urges Northern Ireland to vote bike

Cycling UK lit up the iconic Samson and Goliath cranes in Belfast with pro-cycling messaging
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Cycling UK urges Northern Ireland to vote bike

With people tightening belts against rising fuel prices, Cycling UK invites people in Northern Ireland to tell politicians to invest in active travel, to give people alternatives to driving
  • Iconic Belfast sites including the Samson and Goliath cranes, the Titanic Museum and The Big Fish lit up with pro-cycling messaging. Photos available: Skyfish
  • Cycling UK and Sustrans are hosting Northern Ireland’s Active Travel Hustings ahead of the Assembly elections featuring representatives from all major parties, online at 7pm on Wednesday 13 April 
  • The Assembly has recognised the climate emergency by passing the Climate Change Bill, but pressure is needed to ensure it will follow through on promises 

Iconic sites across Belfast were lit up overnight with a simple message for Northern Ireland’s future politicians: invest in the future, vote bike. 

The message came from cycling charity, Cycling UK, which took to Belfast’s streets and illuminated a number of famous landmarks, such as the Titanic Museum and The Big Fish, and what is thought to be the first time ever, the iconic Samson and Goliath cranes.  

As election campaigns gather pace across the country, the charity aims to highlight to Northern Ireland’s MLA candidates the widespread desire there is to increase cycling journeys.  

Cycling UK is encouraging political parties to be progressive in their solutions to the cost-of-living crisis. With the price at the pump coming with high costs both financially and environmentally, the charity wants to see more done to give people sustainable alternatives to driving shorter journeys. 

These elections are a chance to look forward and invest in the future. The car can’t be king for much longer if we’re going to meet our net zero targets, but it’s down to our decision-makers to make it a possibility and build resilience and choice into the way we travel. The moment to vote bike is now

Andrew McClean, engagement officer for Northern Ireland at Cycling UK

Each political party will have the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to a sustainable future in Northern Ireland at the Active Travel Hustings, organised by Cycling UK, in collaboration with Sustrans, with members of the public encouraged to attend and tell decision-makers there is a popular alternative to driving: investment in active travel. 

The hustings will be broadcast online, and representatives from Alliance Party, Sinn Féin, UUP, DUP, SDLP and Green Party have all agreed to appear.  

Andrew McClean, Cycling UK’s engagement officer for Northern Ireland, comments:  

“Many People across the nation want to cycle more, because it’s cheaper, healthier, and more sustainable than defaulting to driving everywhere, and with fuel price hikes cycling becomes more attractive by the day. But for many it’s not an option due to poor infrastructure created with only motor vehicles in mind, which feels unsafe for more vulnerable road users. 

“These elections are a chance to look forward and invest in the future. The car can’t be king for much longer if we’re going to meet our net zero targets, but it’s down to our decision-makers to make it a possibility and build resilience and choice into the way we travel. The moment to vote bike is now.” 

Although the Assembly recently recognised the climate emergency through the new Climate Change Bill, Northern Ireland lags behind the rest of the UK when it comes to investment in active travel, including walking, wheeling and cycling. But political will is crucial in helping people reduce their car-dependency; the public can’t change their behaviour without infrastructure that’s fit for purpose. 

The hustings will be chaired by journalist, author and broadcaster Malachi O’Doherty. 

List of party representatives 

  • Kate Nicholl, Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alliance Party
  • Philip McGuigan, MLA for North Antrim, Sinn Féin
  • Roy Beggs, MLA for East Antrim, UUP 
  • George Dorrian, DUP 
  • Cara Hunter, MLA for East Derry, SDLP 
  • Simon Lee, Green Party 

Join Cycling UK and Sustrans at the Active Travel Hustings online at 7pm on Wednesday 13 April to get your voice heard.

Download press images via this link: Skyfish

 

Contact information 

For more information, please contact the national Cycling UK press office. Due to the restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, currently the main press office number (01483 238 315) is not being monitored. If you would like to speak to a member of the press office during working hours (0900 - 1700) please email publicity@cyclinguk.org. Out of hours, call 07786 320 713

Notes to editors 

 

  1. Cycling UK, the UK’s cycling charity, imagines a world where the streets are free of congestion and the air is clean to breathe, where parents encourage their children to cycle to school and everyone shares the exhilaration of being in the saddle. For more than 140 years, we’ve been making our streets safer, opening up new traffic free routes and inspiring more people to cycle more often. www.cyclinguk.org  

  1. For more info and to register to attend the hustings: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/240814359259661581?source=Cycling%20UK 

  1. For more info on Cycling UK’s election campaign in Northern Ireland: https://www.cyclinguk.org/northern-ireland-assembly-election-2022  

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