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Comber Greenway usage up amid calls for an upgrade

Usage monitored at three points has increased by several thousand over the last three years.

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The usage of the Comber Greenway between Belfast and Comber has significantly increased in the last three years (Liam McBurney/PA)

The usage of the Comber Greenway between Belfast and Comber has significantly increased in the last three years (Liam McBurney/PA)

The usage of the Comber Greenway between Belfast and Comber has significantly increased in the last three years (Liam McBurney/PA)

There has been a call to upgrade a greenway after it emerged usage has significantly increased.

The Comber Greenway is a seven-mile traffic-free path which was created on the footprint of a former railway line between Belfast and the Co Down town.

According to monitoring points, the usage has increased by several thousand people in the last three years.

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Former first minister Peter Robinson (left) and Steven Patterson, Northern Ireland’s director of cycling along Belfast’s Comber Greenway (OFMDFM/PA)

Former first minister Peter Robinson (left) and Steven Patterson, Northern Ireland’s director of cycling along Belfast’s Comber Greenway (OFMDFM/PA)

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Former first minister Peter Robinson (left) and Steven Patterson, Northern Ireland’s director of cycling along Belfast’s Comber Greenway (OFMDFM/PA)

Users at the Beersbridge Road in Belfast increased from 189,000 in 2017/18 to 215,000 in 2018/19.

There was also an increase in users at Abbey Road from 191,000 in 2017/18 to 193,000 in 2019/20, and from at Comber from 131,000 in 2017/18 to 135,000 in 2018/19 to 148,000 in 2019/20.

The figures were released by the Department for Infrastructure to East Belfast DUP MLA Robin Newton following an Assembly Question.

Mr Newton said the increasing usage makes a “strong case” for the department to upgrade the route.

“The Comber Greenway is a tremendous community facility and it is used by people of all ages,” he said.

“The Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has said she wants to look at ‘new ways to invest that can deliver the transformation our communities need’.

“This is a real opportunity for the minister and her department to deliver on those words and make a real difference to communities along this important route.”

PA