Sunday, 8 May 2011

Improved cycling route secured in Holywood


Cllr Muir along with Bikeworks owner Paul Smith at
launch of Friends of the Earth / Sustrans
North Down Cycling Manifesto
I have managed to secure agreement to improve a key cycling route in Holywood with cyclists now able to easily make their way from Holywood to Belfast along a low traffic route.

After lobbying Belfast Harbour Police for months I have secured agreement to keep the gates into Belfast Harbour Estate open every evening and also at weekends with a new access point soon to be created for cyclists and pedestrians.

Previously this gate was closed all day Sunday and many cyclists and pedestrians often had to retrace their steps or tyre marks after making the journey from Holywood through Kinnegar and then to the Harbour Estate only to find the gate locked. The new arrangement has been trialled and it has been agreed to keep the gates open on a permanent basis with a new access point on the horizon for cyclists and pedestrians.

I am very grateful to Belfast Harbour Police for their efforts to facilitate cyclists and pedestrians. Rather than telling me to ‘Get on Yer Bike’ they have made this cycling route much more accessible. Opening the gates is another useful development putting the wheels in motion towards the creation of a Bicycle Friendly Borough. Cyclists can now easily make their way along this route and then to Belfast via Airport Road rather than having to compete with many other vehicles on a busy road.

Over the last few months I have been Leading Change to make North Down a Bicycle friendly Borough. North Down urgently needs connected with the National Cycle Network which covers over 800 miles linking nearly every town across Northern Ireland.

With the Harbour gates now opened the next key challenge is the full upgrade of the North Down Coastal Path to Sustrans standards to accommodate cyclists.  Large sections of the path have already been upgraded but the wheels need to be put in motion to upgrade other more tricky sections near Rockport School and Seahill. I will continue to lobby for funding to ensure the scenic Coastal Path becomes a key cycling corridor linking Bangor and Holywood with the rest of the network.

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