New mountain bike trails in Northern Ireland will be a boost to tourist activity in an area that has been overlooked in the past, the Ulster Unionists have said.
Environment spokesperson Tom Elliott MLA welcomed the start of work on a new trail in Davagh Forest near Cookstown.
“For years many mountain bikers had to travel to Scotland to pursue their sport because of lack of proper facilities in Northern Ireland,” said Mr Elliott.
“We are now privileged to have a number of facilities in Fermanagh & South Tyrone at Blessingbourne Estate in Fivemiletown and the Castle Archdale family cycling trail.
“The addition of the new trail in Cookstown District will put us at the forefront of activity tourism.
“With the success of British cyclists at the recent London Olympics I feel sure with proper facilities this activity is certain to grow in the future.”
Mr Elliott said that further expansion of the Mournes trails at Rostrevor and Castlewellan should also be completed in early 2013.
“Now, instead of our mountain bikers travelling out of Northern Ireland to partake in their sport, we can now encourage enthusiasts from other parts of the UK to come to Northern Ireland,” he added.