Stand for a few moments in the centre of Belfast and you’ll see why many people think cycling is steadily rising here. Now official statistics from the Department for Regional Development (DRD) are beginning to support the anecdotes. The Northern Ireland Travel Survey (TSNI) 2010-12 released in July 2013 pointed to a spike in the number of cycling journeys, and now the detailed analysis lifts the lid off more headlines.
The most interesting thing to happen to Belfast cycling this year hasn’t happened yet. The new cycling unit in the Department for Regional Development will probably get up and running in early 2014. It promises a new approach to government investment planning, embedding cycle-proofing across all departments to -prevent missed opportunities. Of course, it also means our cycling future is in the hands of the Department that brought you Cyclesaurus.
So let’s get the new Cycling Unit off to a flying start with some practical ideas which can make a big impact. And while we’re at it, some ideas for Belfast City Council, active travel organisations, Translink and private businesses too. Regular cyclists’ practical expertise is undervalued, so feel free to pile in to the comments section. Here is your starter for ten..