Agenda item


            The Committee was provided with an overview of the All Party Round Table on Connectivity, Active and Sustainable Travel which had taken place on 30th August, 2023.


            It was reported that the session had enabled Members to explore the various stands of work ongoing across the organisation and with partners to ensure that the Council could effectively position itself in terms of what it could deliver, who it needed to work with and what it needed to influence to realise the wider associated benefits of connecting people to opportunities and creating a better connected and sustainable city.


            In particular, the session looked at how this work cuts across various Committees and via the Community Planning process and provided an overview (Appendix A) of the streams of work underway, which enabled Members to see all this work holistically and how it feeds into the Council’s strategic priorities and governance structures. This included the work being taken forward within the Community Planning structures via the Connectivity, Active and Sustainable Travel subgroup as part of the Belfast Agenda refresh and through the Climate and Resilience Board as well as Council led Physical Programme projects, A Bolder Vision and the strategic and large-scale infrastructure projects being led by public and private sector city partners.


            The Director of City Regeneration and Development highlighted that Connectivity, Active and Sustainable Travel were integrated levers that cut across city stakeholders, including the Council, DfI and other Government departments, Sustrans, Translink, communities, businesses and anchor institutions and spanned across a number of strategic, policy and delivery areas including:


·        The Local Development Plan and the Eastern Transport Plan (ETP);

·        Belfast Agenda and A Bolder Vision;

·        Council’s capital delivery programme;

·        Modal shift/behavioural change projects; and

·        Net Zero Roadmap for Belfast.


            A key focus of discussion had included the relationship of the ETP to other large priority schemes such as Belfast Streets Ahead, Glider Phase 2 and the key Junctions (Peter’s Hill, Frederick Street, Clifton Street), with particular focus on the need to deliver the Belfast Cycling Network across the city.


            She reminded the Committee that the Council had submitted a response to the DfI consultation on the Eastern Transport Plan as agreed by the Committee in October and encouraged Members to continue to engage in the development of this critical strategic document.


            The Director of City Regeneration and Development advised that other issues raised included the content within the Belfast Agenda’s draft Connectivity, Active and Sustainable Travel Action Plan, including active travel for school children, play streets and school streets and opportunities to share and learn from best practice, for example, through Eurocities.


            She pointed out that Members had also been advised of the work which had been undertaken by the CAST group (co-chaired by Sustrans and Translink) and the draft plan had been developed through a co-design process led by this group. Following public consultation on the draft Belfast Agenda, partners would consider potential revisions to the suite of Action Plans before final publication. It was intended that all action plans would remain dynamic, and delivery will be through respective subgroups.


            The Director of City Regeneration and Development stated that it had been agreed that Members would feed the information discussed at the Round Table to their respective parties and that a copy of the presentation was attached at Appendix A. She highlighted that it had also been agreed that the Round Table would reconvene on a future date to enable further discussion on the issues and to provide an opportunity for Members to feed into the work of the Connectivity, Active and Sustainable Travel sub-group within the Community planning structures. It was proposed that the next meeting would take place after the Belfast Agenda Action Plans were updated and invitations would be issued to the Party Group Leaders to nominate a representative.


            The Committee:


·        Noted the contents of the report in relation to the All Party Round Table meeting and the opportunity to shape the Belfast Agenda Connectivity, Active and Sustainable Travel Action Plan; and

·        Agreed that future sessions would take place to provide an opportunity for Members to have a focused and informed discussion around this strategic priority. 


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