Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has officially opened an extension to the Blaris greenway scheme.
The latest phase of the scheme links Sprucefield Park and Ride to Halftown Road, a distance of 1.4 kilometres. This brings the total length of the Greenway to 2.8 kilometres from Halftown Road to Blaris Road where it connects with Union Locks, Lisburn and the Lagan Towpath, providing a virtually traffic free route of around 24 kilometres into Belfast city centre.
The path is four metres wide along the majority of its length and also incorporates a series of passing bays along the route to allow local access for agricultural vehicles, providing ample space for everyone to share safely.
Minister Mallon said:
“As more of us are choosing pedal power or walking over the traditional car this latest safe traffic-free route will be a welcome addition to the increasingly popular Blaris Greenway by those from local communities who wish to walk, wheel or cycle as a form of leisure or as part of their daily commute.
The path is conveniently located within reach of Culcavy and Hillsborough, provides access to Maze-Long Kesh and has direct public transport connections to Belfast from the Sprucefield Park and Ride site.
It was important for me that the local farming community also had access to their agricultural land and I am pleased that we have been able to incorporate passing bays along the path, providing safe passage for all who travel along it.
I remain committed to creating more active travel opportunities and developing sustainable infrastructure projects and I will continue to work with Executive colleagues, Councils and other partners to help deliver cleaner, greener, sustainable active travel infrastructure across our island.”
Caroline Bloomfield, Sustrans Northern Ireland Director said:
“It is fantastic to see this high quality, safe walking and cycling route all the way from the Maze village in Co Down to Belfast. It enhances the National Cycle Network, extending NCN Route 9 via the Lagan Towpath to give more than 20 kilometres of virtually traffic-free walking and cycling. Greenways are essential to ensure walking and cycling can be for everyone, whatever their ability. With so many people living along this corridor there are huge benefits for people’s physical and mental health, as well as the environment.”
Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Nicholas Trimble added:
“We are delighted that the Blaris Greenway is progressing and connecting more of our rural areas with Lisburn city centre and the towpath into Belfast. I am confident that cyclists will enjoy the opportunity to cycle further off-road and can use it to get to any events that may take place at the Maze-Long Kesh site in the future. I would like to thank the Department for Infrastructure for their continued investment in our area.”
Notes to editors:
- Photo caption: Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has opened Phase 3 of the Blaris Greenway which connects Sprucefield Park and Ride with the Halftown Road providing a safe route to walk, wheel or cycle. Joining Minster Mallon to cut the ribbon are Sustrans Routes and Network Officer, Thomas McConaghie , Lady Mayoress of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Sarah Trimble and Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Nicholas Trimble.
- This is Phase 3 of the Blaris Greenway. Phase 1 linked from Spucefield Park and Ride to Blaris. Phase 2 linked from Sprucefield Park and Ride into Sprucefield Retail Park.
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