Belfast Bikes to be extended to link hospitals
A PUBLIC bike hire scheme is being extended to link three hospitals with Belfast city centre, MLAs have been told.
More than 150,000 journeys have been logged since the cycle share programme was launched nine months ago, Regional Development Minister Michelle McIlveen said.
The latest phase is expected to be complete by Easter, it was claimed.
Ms McIlveen said: "This will give people more confidence to be able to make journeys by bicycle."
There are more than 300 Belfast Bikes at 33 docking stations in various locations across the city centre.
Membership for the scheme costs £20 for an annual subscription or £5 for a three-day membership for visitors, tourists and casual users.
Speaking during Question Time at the Assembly Ms McIlveen added: "Cycling is an important and healthy way of travelling for everyday purposes."
It was also revealed that the Department for Regional Development (DRD) expected to spend around £2.4 million on cycling this year - a significant drop on the £7.5 million allocated during 2014/15 when a number of capital projects were undertaken.
East Belfast Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle questioned whether enough money had been set aside.
He said: "Given that the DRD spend in 14/15 is £4 per person and in 15/16 is £3 per person, can I ask the minister if she thinks that is an adequate level of investment?"