Cyclegeddon, an impressive political focus on cycling, rumbled for the first five weeks of the 2013-14 Northern Ireland Assembly session. Cycling has risen up the political agenda like never before in Northern Ireland.

The early throes of #Cyclegeddon started with the encouraging announcement of a new DRD Cycling Unit to co-ordinate policy across departments. This seems to have made MLAs more eager to probe into past, current and future policy ideas from various Ministers.

The scale of the response from MLAs is remarkable. Within the first five weeks of the 2013-14 Assembly term, 118 questions on cycling issues have been asked. This surpassed the 100 questions asked in the whole of the last year at Stormont.

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In a remarkable start to the 2013-14 Assembly session, cycling policy has made a huge leap up the agenda. Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy has taken the first steps towards putting cycling into mainstream transport planning in Northern Ireland. Yet the talk of a cycling revolution (it’s not) needs to be tempered with the harsh realities of where we start from, what exactly is on the table, and the long struggle ahead.

Reproduced under Creative Commons Licence from niassembly

Monday 9th September 2013 had been playfully dubbed #Cyclegeddon; 17 questions on cycling had been put to Ministers before the Assembly had even resumed. Putting that into context, a total of 100 questions had been asked in the past 12 months. Remarkable.

Continue reading “Cyclegeddon hits the Northern Ireland Assembly”