Northern Ireland news

Three more greenways get funding

Former infrastructure minister Chris Hazzard and Jonathan Hobbs from NI Greenways in November at the launch of plans to develop 1000kms of paths across the north. Picture by Michael Cooper

THREE councils are to share £75,000 to develop `greenway' projects.

The Department of Infrastructure said it wants to encourage more people to walk or cycle on their everyday journeys on traffic-free routes.

The greenways are between Comber and Newtownards in Ards and North Down Borough Council, at Greenisland in Mid and East Antrim, and at Carryduff in the Lisburn and Castlereagh council area.

Andrew Grieve of the Department for Infrastructure said it hopes to eventually create a 1,000km network across Northern Ireland.

Gordon Clarke of sustainable transport charity Sustrans welcomed the money but called for the next Stormont executive to give greenways at least five per cent of a £400m fund for infrastructure announced as part of the DUP's deal to support the Conservative government.

He said the Comber to Newtownards route would make those centres more accessible by foot and bike, the project at Greenisland could encourage more commuters to travel by bike and the Carryduff greenway could mean more people cycling to the park and ride at Cairnshill.

“We know that almost half the users will be walkers, half cyclists and people of all ages," he said.

"The majority of local people use greenways for leisure and recreation as they are effectively a linear park. About a third of users are commuters and there is also great potential for tourism from visitors using greenways which have economic benefits for local communities.”

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