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'Rail' possibility of opening old tracks for walkers and cyclists


Mayor of North Down Andrew Muir with campaigner Louis O'Keefe

Mayor of North Down Andrew Muir with campaigner Louis O'Keefe

Mayor of North Down Andrew Muir with campaigner Louis O'Keefe

Disused railway tracks connecting Conlig, Newtownards and Donaghadee have been "signalled out" by a local campaigner as a possible new greenway for pedestrians and cyclists.

Campaigner Louis O'Keeffe has secured the backing of North Down mayor Andrew Muir (pictured) for his request that government explores the feasibility of re-opening the Stonebridge line for that purpose.

He said: "At a recently convened meeting with Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy MLA to discuss the idea we received a positive response with willingness to explore the project via a multi-agency meeting which is currently being arranged.

"Re-opening the Railway Line could deliver amazing benefits enabling people to walk, run or cycle across scenic County Down Countryside benefitting local communities via the health benefits derived and the economy with local cafes now booming in Comber following opening of the Comber Greenway.

"Associated with the idea is safeguarding all the stone bridges along the course of the Newtownards to Donaghadee railway line as scheduled monuments, especially the endangered Stone Bridge beside the Green Road, Conlig.

"The Stonebridge in Conlig is a valuable historic asset and must be protected as one part of Northern Ireland's rich Railway Heritage.

"Together with other historic elements along disused Railway lines they reflect our industrial heritage and should be cherished and enjoyed by future generations. I look forward to working with Louis O'Keeffe to progress the ideas along with the Mayor of Ards and other parties. Working as one we can deliver real positive change for everyone."

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