Greenway Scheme: West Belfast

Oral Answers to Questions — Infrastructure – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 16 April 2024.

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Photo of Órlaithí Flynn Órlaithí Flynn Sinn Féin 2:30, 16 April 2024

T6. Ms Flynn asked the Minister for Infrastructure for an update on the greenway scheme in west Belfast. (AQT 186/22-27)

Photo of John O'Dowd John O'Dowd Sinn Féin

There are a number of schemes progressing in Belfast, and, again, some are at a more advanced stage than others. I will give you the detail of those. Design work is ongoing for the majority of schemes in the Belfast cycling network, with short-term lists for delivery by the end of 2025. Designs of schemes need to be thorough if we want to deliver the highest-quality active travel infrastructure. There are a number of schemes: for instance, at Ravenhill Road, Dublin Road and Botanic Avenue in south Belfast; Lagmore Avenue greenway in west Belfast, which the Member will be aware of; Island Street and Sydenham greenway proposals in east Belfast; Limestone Road, Cavehill Road and other connections from north Belfast into the city. Working in conjunction with local communities and the councils, I am confident that we can move all these forward.

Photo of Órlaithí Flynn Órlaithí Flynn Sinn Féin

Thanks very much, Minister. Does the Minister agree with me that the active travel initiatives have positive mental health benefits for people, as well as benefits for physical health?

Photo of John O'Dowd John O'Dowd Sinn Féin

Without a doubt, and that has been proven over and over again. In my opinion, health is a collective responsibility for the Executive. Understandably, much of the focus is on acute and primary care, but if my Department can assist in improving citizens' quality of life, there is more chance of their not needing acute or primary care. Improving people's mental health through active travel has been proven beyond doubt.

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

Topical question 7 has been withdrawn.