Change of legislation needed to promote active lifestyles, says Muir

Alliance Infrastructure spokesperson Andrew Muir MLA has said if we are to properly promote active lifestyles, there needs to be a change of legislation to help organisers of sporting events.

The North Down MLA was speaking after meeting with Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon, alongside representatives from Athletics Northern Ireland, Triathlon Ireland and the Northern Ireland Sports Forum, to discuss the Roads Miscellaneous Provisions Act (NI) 2010, which permits the closure of roads for the holding of special events.

New legislation in 2017 gave local authorities the power to approve such events on roads. Mr Muir said that was a bad move, one which the Minister could now reverse.

“This legislation was pushed through just as the Assembly was collapsing, with many far-reaching negative consequences upon local communities and sporting bodies,” he said.

“It comes at a time when we are trying to encourage active lifestyles and community participation. However, with devolution now restored, an opportunity now exists to fix this bad law. I was therefore grateful to the Minister for meeting and listening to the issues experienced by the officials from the relevant representative bodies.

“I am pleased there are plans to undertake a review with a consultation to gather the views, with an aim to agree a way forward by early autumn. If we are to properly promote active lifestyles, the legislation needs changed and organisers should not be hit with prohibitive costs and rules, resulting in significantly higher entry fees and the cancellation of events.”



Photo, from left, John Allen (Athletics NI), Darren Coombes (Triathlon Ireland), Andrew Muir MLA, David Seaton (Athletics NI), Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon MLA and Ciaran Kearney (NI Sports Forum).