Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has announced details of the first new pop-up cycle lanes for Belfast as part of her ongoing drive to deliver sustainable infrastructure.
As Bike Week kicks off, this builds on the Minister's previous announcement that a number of active travel initiatives would be introduced across the North. Pilot schemes to widen footways and pedestrianise streets have already commenced in Belfast and following a meeting with Belfast City Council the Minister has unveiled further plans for the city.
Minister Mallon said:
“The Covid crisis has brought unprecedented challenges and has fundamentally changed the way we live. However, there is no doubt that it has also created an opportunity for us all to take a closer look at how we travel and consider how we can do things better moving forward.
“I am committed to working towards reimagining and reshaping our spaces to accommodate cycling, walking and active travel as part of an ambitious Executive recovery plan. This is a real opportunity to build a better future that delivers more for our citizens, socially and economically, delivering cleaner, greener and healthier communities. We must seize it.
“Last month I announced that a range of active travel initiatives would be implemented across Northern Ireland starting with schemes in Belfast, Derry and Newry. Pilots have already hit the ground running in Belfast and Derry and I am delighted today, particularly as we kick start Bicycle week, to be able to take the next step in my plan to trial sustainable, green infrastructure.
“Arrangements are being put in place over the next two weeks for a number of pop-up cycle lanes in Belfast. The new lanes are located on the Dublin Road and Grosvenor Road. There will also be improvements to cycle lanes on Crumlin Road and the Oldpark Road. These are designed to improve access into the city centre and also to help key workers to continue to cycle to and from work, especially those who work in our hospitals. Initially these will be put in place on a trial basis with improvements to the segregation made over the following weeks.
The Minister continued: “Collaboration is the key to building lasting, meaningful change and I am keen to continue to work with Belfast City Council to drive a green recovery that will benefit all of our citizens. There’s a lot to do to transform our places and shape them for the better. Place shaping is never without its challenges – but I’m up for that challenge. I would urge all to work with me and my department, as we seek to seize our chance for change.”
Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Frank McCoubrey said:
“We’ve been working with both the Department for Infrastructure and the Department for Communities to look at how we reimagine our city centre with a focus on moving to a greener, walkable and more connected core. Connecting communities to our city centre via sustainable forms of transport is key to our joint vision for the city. Improving the cycling infrastructure will make it easier for people to opt for sustainable modes of transport thereby helping to tackle things like climate change, improve air quality, and improve the health and wellbeing of those in our city – all things which make for a more sustainable, resilient future.”
Notes to editors:
- Details of the new pop cycle lanes are as follows:
Dublin Road (preliminary work linking between the Alfred Street cycle lane to Dublin Road via Bankmore Street have already been undertaken) - further work will be undertaken to connect onwards to the Belfast City Hospital;
Grosvenor Road from the Royal Victoria Hospital – this will provide a link to the existing two-way cycle lane on Durham Street and College Square North;
Crumlin Road and Oldpark Road – cycle lanes will be added between the various sections of bus lanes and advisory cycle lanes, between Hillview Road and the Mater Hospital, to provide a more coherent route on both sides of the road. The bus lane will also be made to operate throughout the day.
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