Agenda item


The Members of the Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1            To update Committee on the ongoing DfC Covid-19 Revitalisation Programme including the provision of covered cycle stands under the DfI Sustainable and Active funded element of the programme.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to;


·        Note the Extension of Time is now approved for the DfC Covid-19 Revitalisation Programme and the status summary provided;

·        Agree to the proposed covered cycle stand locations as identified within this report.


3.0       Main report


3.1       Background


            The CG&R Committee have received regular updates and provided approvals relating to the DfC Covid-19 Revitalisation Programme and it was agreed at the Committee Meeting of the 12th May that an extension of time would be sought from DfC to March 2022. This extension of time is required due to delays in the required statutory approvals process, compounded by an escalation in cost and demand on key materials and contractor provision.


3.2       The Committee also received an update on the status of the physical projects aligned with the ‘Re-Imaging the public Realm’, agreed to the funding allocation under the DfI Sustainable & Active Travel Fund for the E-cargo bike pilot, the Active/Sustainable Travel Hubs and expansion of the Belfast Bike network. Members were also updated on the progress of the covered cycle stands with further details to be provided to a future meeting of this Committee


3.3       Main Report


            In relation to the request for the extension of time DfC have now approved and provided the Letter of Variance to provide an extension of time to the programme until March 2022. While this extension of time allows until March 2022 officers, along with our key delivery partners, are committed to have the majority of projects delivered by December 2021. The majority of the Statutory Approvals are now in place and procurement has completed on the majority of the projects minimising the risk of overrun on a number of projects including the Linen Quarter parklets and Brunswick St Hub; the Union St and Warehouse Lane projects; the e-cargo bike pilot; the Belfast bike expansion; and the Business Cluster and Community Grant scheme.


3.4       The Cathedral Gardens Active Travel Hub and the Castle Place kiosk are currently in planning and works will commence pending the outcome of the decision, and DfI are scheduled to commence works on the Castle Place footpath extension and cycle lane provision in September 2021 pending final approval of the business plan.


            Covered Cycle Stands


3.5       At the May CG&R Committee meeting it was agreed that £100k would be allocated from the Covid-19 Revitalisation Programme for the provision of covered cycle stands, and members were updated that Sustrans was appointed to develop a strategic approach of identifying well-planned cycle parking across the city.


3.6       The report established a set of criteria for assessing cycle parking across the city, including existing provision of cycle infrastructure in the area, access to the DfI Cycle Network, suitable land availability, safe access and egress, revenue implications/operating models and types of units. Given the time constraints of the Covid-19 Revitalisation Programme further criteria was added in terms of deliverability, focusing on the use of Council assets to ensure delivery within the funding period. 


3.7       Sustrans also recommended several types of cycle parking for consideration appropriate to the shortlisted locations and this information formed the specification for the procurement process for the stands. Following a competitive procurement competition, a contractor has been appointed to deliver the following types of covered cycle stand (Suburban type as illustrated in Appendix 1) and will proceed with manufacturing and installation pending Committee approval of the proposed locations, and finalisation of discussions with the 3rd party operators, (i.e. GLL) associated with some of the locations, as outlined in item 3.8 of this report;


1.     Urban type for city centre locations – Mono Cycle: a modern modular aluminium shelter; proposed combination of green and solar roof; integrated light unit (LED light powered by solar panel) and perch seating

2.     Suburban type for neighbourhoods and parks - Mono Cycle: a modern modular aluminium shelter with green roof


3.8       Based on the above criteria and type of cycle stand the following locations are recommended for approval for installation within this DfC Revitalisation Programme;



Reasons for priority


Council owned, business agglomeration and community proximity, off road and on cycle route, visible, accessible and convenient

St George’s

Adjoining Council owned but requiring DfI consent, leisure destination, near cycle route, visible, accessible and convenient

Grosvenor Community Centre

Council owned, leisure destination, on pop-up cycle lane, safe and accessible

Shankill Leisure Centre

Council owned, leisure destination, lack of cycle infrastructure, safe and accessible

Belmont Park

Council owned, leisure destination, off road, visible, safe and accessible

Inverary Community Centre

Council owned, leisure destination, off road, safe and accessible, close to planned greenway

Belfast Zoo

Council owned, leisure destination, off road, safe and accessible


Council owned, leisure destination, off road, safe and accessible

Belvoir Activity Centre

Council owned, leisure destination, off road and on planned greenway, visible, accessible and convenient

Mary Peters Track

Council owned, leisure destination, off road, safe and accessible


3.9       While the locations above are assessed in terms of the available funding and, critically, deliverability within the DfC Covid-19 Revitalisation Programme timeframes as well as the key criteria aligned to cycle infrastructure provision, officers are mindful that there will be demand in other locations.   Officers are therefore in discussions with DfI for potential additional funding under the Green & Blue Infrastructure Fund to deliver additional covered cycle stands.  As highlighted below however in the resource implications, there is a revenue implication to the Council in terms of maintenance etc, or third party consents required, and this will need to be factored into any future additional provision in a similar manner to the current provision. Provision of £5k has been included to cover any management and maintenance associated with the stands.  This revenue provision will be subject to an annual review and, if necessary, further consideration. 


3.10     An evaluation of secured cycle stands within the city centre was also undertaken, and given the requirement to have in place a system /personnel resource maintaining the operation of these locations, including membership provision, allocation and monitoring of access fobs, and emergency call-out facilities it was not possible to have the secured cycle provision included within this funding package. To address this officers are also in discussions with DfI for potential funding under the Green & Blue Infrastructure Fund to provide secured cycle locations that would be incorporated within existing publicly available, serviced locations that have the capacity to operate the systems required. These locations could potentially involve a partnership arrangement with for example, Translink and/or Multi-story car park providers. This work is ongoing and a further report will be brought back to this Committee at a future date.


3.11     Additional cycle parking opportunities


            Officers have explored other opportunities to enhance cycling provision in that city and as part of the Leisure Transformation Programme there are plans to retrofit covers over the existing cycle parking at four leisure centres: Brook, Lisnasharragh, Andersonstown and Avoneil. This will be taken forward separate from the Revitalisation funding and will be delivered within this financial year.


3.12     Finance & Resource Implications


            The capital costs associated within this report will be covered from within the DfC Covid-19 Revitalisation Programme via direct delivery by Council.  An additional allowance of £5k has been allocated from the DfC Revitalisation Programme for the maintenance of the covered cycle stands. Revenue implications will be subject to annual review and may require consideration in relation to growth or value for money evaluations. 


3.13     Equality or Good Relations Implications/Rural Needs Assessment


            Equality of opportunity and good relations, and disability duties screening is complete on the overall programme with mitigating actions agreed and implemented. The screening of the programme is currently undergoing a review and the appropriate actions will be picked up by officers.”


            In response to several questions from Members regarding the effectiveness of the proposed covered cycle stands, the Director of City Regeneration and Development informed the Committee that secured cycle stands would be much more expensive to put in place as there would be a resource requirement in that, secured cycle stands required 24-hour access and would therefore require a call-out service.  She added that it would not be possible to install secured cycle stands within the budget and timeframe.  She further added that Council officers had taken advice and recommendations from Sustrans to identify a fit for purpose model, however, she stated that she would bring a report back to a future meeting of the Committee regarding the potential costs associated with the installation of secured cycle stands.



Moved by Councillor Hussey,

Seconded by Councillor Dorrian,


That the Committee agrees to the recommendations as set out in the report to:


·        Note the Extension of Time for the DfC Covid-19 Revitalisation Programme and the status summary provided; and

·        Agree to the proposed covered cycle stand locations as identified within the report.


On a vote, twelve Members voted for the proposal, with four no-votes and it was declared carried.


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