Danny Kennedy promises cycling revolution for Northern Ireland

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Danny Kennedy
Image caption,
Danny Kennedy was impressed by what he saw in Denmark and Sweden

Stormont minister Danny Kennedy has promised a cycling revolution for Northern Ireland.

The minister for regional development said: "We need to create an environment which invites people to walk and cycle as much as possible.

"That is my vision for Northern Ireland and I am committed to making it happen."

Mr Kennedy was speaking after a three-day fact-finding trip to Copenhagen in Denmark and Malmo in Sweden.

He said the benefits of a cycling culture went far beyond a healthy lifestyle.

He added: "It has been very impressive to see at first hand how 'normal' cycling is for the majority of the populations in these cities.

"One of the key learning points for me is that cycling is not a goal in itself but is a means to an end.

"People here cycle for convenience because the infrastructure is so good.

"There are miles of wide cycle lanes all with excellent links across the cities and out to the suburbs with easy access to public transport.

"The knock-on effects are a healthier population putting less strain on health services. Traders too, reap the benefits from the numbers of people travelling round the city with countless bike stands for people to stop and shop."

In May, Northern Ireland hosts the first three stages of the Giro d'Italia, the world's second biggest cycle race.