Policy in Northern Ireland

Sustrans has responded to a consultation by the Department for Infrastructure on its trial on private hire taxis in bus lanes in Belfast. We issued an organisation response as well as a joint response working with Cycling UK and campaign group Bikefast. You can read the responses in the table below. We have also been working to influence the Belfast Bicycle Network Plan which is being consulted on by the Department for Infrastructure. You can read the proposals and our response in the table below.

We are currently compiling the next Belfast Bike Life report which will be published in November 2017. This provides useful data on the state of cycling in the city which is one of seven cities taking part across the UK. You can read the 2015 Belfast Bike Life report.

Westminster General Election 2017

Sustrans has written to all sitting MPs and political parties in Northern Ireland asking for the following three manifesto commitments:

  • A commitment to a new Clean Air Act.
  • A commitment to invest at least £10 per head of population in both urban cycling and walking networks, and rural traffic-free greenways.
  • A commitment to ensure that all school-children can walk or cycle to school safely.

There are some variations across the UK in our demands from Westminister politicians. You can read more in our General Election blog

Northern Ireland Assembly

Our overall policy work is to ensure the Northern Ireland Assembly delivers policies and projects that make it easier for more people to walk and cycle. We want to see safe routes to schools, safer joined-up cycle networks and better planning to encourage more people to travel actively.

You can read our response to the Draft Programme for Government 2016-2021.

Sustrans Manifesto for Northern Ireland Assembly

Our Manifesto for Northern Ireland was produced ahead of the 2016 election and then shared again at the March 2017 snap election. It is wide-ranging but includes four key proposals:

  • Children and Young People - Support the expansion of the Active School Travel Programme by including on-road cycle training for all P6 pupils, provision of safe routes to schools and on-site cycle parking.

  • Urban infrastructure - Address cycling safety concerns by investing in joined-up urban cycling networks, segregated cycle lanes and secure cycle parking provision.

  • Rural network - Support rural regeneration by the development of the National Cycle Network, including traffic-free Greenways.

  • Planning the future - Introduce an Active Travel Bill, similar to Wales, which would ensure provision for pedestrians and cyclists in land-use planning and new developments.

Download the Sustrans' Northern Ireland Manifesto PDF [445KB]

Policy and influencing in Northern Ireland

We attend the All-Party Cycling Group at Stormont and give evidence at the Stormont committee which scrutinises the Department for Infrastructure's work.

We also work closely with the Public Health Agency, Department for Infrastructure and local authorities on key projects such as the Active School Travel Programme, the Leading the Way Programme to promote walking, cycling and public transport in workplaces, and a new Community Active Travel Programme.

Policy submissions

Taxis in Bus Lanes - Trial on Belfast Rapid Transit Routes - Department for Infrastructure 

Joint response from Sustrans, Cycling UK & Bikefast

Sustrans response

June 2017
Draft Belfast Bicycle Network 2017 consultation - Department for Infrastructure Sustrans response April 2017
Public Health Agency Draft Corporate Plan 2017-21 Sustrans response Feb 2017
Draft car parking strategy and action plan - Belfast City Council Sustrans response November 2016
Draft Programme for Government Framework 2016-2021 Sustrans response July 2016
Department for Infrastructure: Consultation on proposals to introduce new regulations to exempt certain electrically assisted pedal cycles (E-bikes) from certain vehicle and driver licensing requirements Sustrans response May 2016
Department of the Environment: Proposals for taking forward NI climate change legislation - discussion paper Sustrans response January 2016
Belfast City Council Air Quality Action Plan 2016 - 2020 Sustrans response August 2015
Belfast City Centre Regeneration Strategy and Investment Framework Sustrans response April 2015
DRDNI: Draft Bicycle Strategy for Northern Ireland Sustrans response November 2014
Independent Review of Home to School Transport Sustrans response April 2014
Delivering Social Change for Children and Young People Sustrans response April 2014
DRDNI: Future Railway Investment  Sustrans response April 2013
Department for Regional Development NI: Taxis in bus lanes Sustrans response September 2012
Department for Regional Development NI: Building an Active Travel Future for Northern Ireland Sustrans response March 2012
Sport Northern Ireland: Outdoor Recreation Action Plan for Northern Ireland Sustrans response February 2012
Northern Ireland Executive: Draft Programme for Government, Investment Strategy and Economic Strategy Sustrans response February 2012

Find out how you can support our work

Did you know you can contact your local Assembly Member about sustainable transport issues?