Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Chain gang engages pedal power for Yuletide Bikeride

More than 60 cyclists from across North Down have road-tested the new improved cycle routes from Bangor to Belfast.



The fun event, billed as a Yuletide Seaside Birdhide Mince Pie Bikeride, was part of the Bicycle friendly Borough campaign.

Supported by Sustrans and Friends of the Earth, the ride was designed to raise awareness of the need to fully upgrade the North Down Coastal Path to accommodate cyclists and |pedestrians.

Mary Lappin from the Bicycle friendly Borough campaign, said: “Over 60 people participated in our Yuletide Seaside Birdhide Mince Pie Bikeride cycling along the North Down Coastal Path from McKee Clock to Holywood and then the Bird |Reserve. We were particularly grateful for the MLAs and councillors who joined us and the Mayor of North Down Councillor James McKerrow who gave his best wishes before we set off.

“The ride successfully helped us to highlight the need to upgrade the remaining sections of the Coastal Path whilst also demonstrating the value of investment made by North Down Borough Council and other |agencies.

“Cyclists found the newly upgraded section at Rockport very useful and were able to make their way to Airport Road via the newly opened gate facilitating cyclists and pedestrians between Kinnegarand the Harbour Estate. More work is required though to create a Greenway between Bangor and Belfast allowing pedestrians and cyclists alike to make their journey on a safe traffic free route. We therefore intend to request a meeting with senior officers at North Down Borough Council to find out more about their plans to upgrade the remaining sections.”

Councillor Andrew Muir thanked the staff of the Bikeworks Cycle Shop in Bangor for providing mulled win and mince pies on arrival at the bird hide. He said he would continue to support this “important campaign”. “We urgently need to upgrade our cycling infrastructure to make it easier and safer for cyclists to travel from A to B.”

Councillor John Barry, who also took part, said: “This initiative highlights the need for investment in cycling facilities across North Down.

Making the borough more cycle friendly, through such initiatives as the upgrading of the coastal path, would also make the borough more accessible to those with mobility difficulties and also improve accessibility for those with young children and babies in prams and buggies,” he continued.

“I will work within council with fellow councillors and officers and organisations to make cycling more attractive as an option for people by pressing council and other statutory bodies to improve the infrastructure |needed.”

The Bicycle friendly Borough campaign is on Facebook.

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