Belfast Telegraph

Bike police to tackle cycle rage on Lagan towpath

By Linda Stewart

Bobbies on bicycles will be a familiar sight on the Lagan towpath next week in a crackdown on aggressive behaviour towards walkers.

It follows a flurry of reports of inconsiderate behaviour from some cyclists towards pedestrians sharing the riverside trail.

The 11-mile towpath is Northern Ireland’s most popular public walkway, but a number of walkers have been upset by cyclists racing past without ringing warning bells and yelling at them to get out of the way, say staff from Lagan Valley Regional Park.

They have now drafted in the PSNI to raise awareness of the need for considerate behaviour. Police have warned that although the route is part of the national Cycle Network, it is pedestrians who have right of way.

On Wednesday and Saturday next week police officers on bicycles will team up with staff from LVRP, Sustrans and other partner agencies to issue leaflets and advice to cyclists and walkers.

Andy Bridge, park manager of Lagan Valley Regional Park, said: “With over 500,000 recorded visits annually, the towpath connecting Stranmillis, Belfast, with Sprucefield, Lisburn, qualifies as the most popular public pathway in Northern Ireland.”

A police spokesman said: “We simply want to encourage everyone using the towpath for leisure, whether for walking, running, exercising their dogs or cycling, to show courtesy to other users.”

Thanks to BikeDock in Belfast, a facility for members of the public to have their bikes serviced will be available on both days.

Patricia Wallace from Sustrans said: “We welcome this initiative to promote safe shared use of the Lagan Towpath. We want to encourage good use of the bell.”

The Lagan towpath code

If cycling:

  • Give way to pedestrians
  • Use a bell to warn others of your approach
  • Show consideration
  • Cycling at speed on the towpath causes accidents

If walking:

  • Make way for others
  • Keep to the left


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