Bikes not bombs
for pedal power sharing!
Belfast, Northern Ireland, 6 May 2007: Hundreds of council employees in Belfast could help save the planet ... by biking to work. Sinn Fein's Tom Hartley believes an exemption allowance in the 1999 Finance Act would see the brakes slammed on cars.
The Act allows employers to loan cycles - and cyclists' safety equipment - to staff as a tax-free benefit. Hartley, an avid biker and environmentalist, says:
I think it would be a positive step for the council because the bicycle is the ultimate in healthy transport. Far too many people use cars and, if they changed to bikes, it would greatly reduce the environmental impact of their journey to work.But Hartley did have one criticism in his push for pedal power. There are not enough cycle lanes in the city and it's something that should be addressed, he said. Supported by the policy and resources committee, he has requested that a report on the viability of introducing the pedal-for-progress scheme be submitted to a future meeting of the council.
The additional bonus is that it will keep you fit, healthy and allows people to get to know their city a little better. It would cost the council nothing in renting out the bicycles and in turn buying them back. If it was up and running, it would encourage others to start thinking in terms of their waistlines and the environment.