Northern Ireland Greenways
Started 2 petitions
Belfast loves its new pedestrian core and play streets - DON'T hand it all back to traffic
The Bank Buildings fire ripped the heart out of Belfast in 2018. Livelihoods were put at risk as footfall dropped due to the safety cordon which closed Castle Place. The situation was bleak. Then the city pulled together. Pedestrian access was restored. Buses were rerouted. City life slowly recovered. Businesses reopened. The newly pedestrianised core encouraged shopper dwell, with the Belfast Telegraph reporting "pre-Christmas footfall around city shops up by almost 20%" on the previous year. In a magic move, Belfast City Council coordinated the establishment of temporary play parks, pedestrian seating, artificial grass and planters - in short, making the city fun, more attractive as a destination, and wonderfully family-friendly. All the while there was no traffic noise, fumes or danger. And the city still works around the core - buses still move, cars still park, deliveries get made. Now Belfast City Council has announced the end to the temporary parks and signalled that the pedestrianised streets will be reopened to traffic, wiping this all away. This is wrong, unnecessary and wasteful. Belfast has had a working example of the kind of liveable, traffic-free city core that many other cities around the world are actively creating - and we're about to return to clogging the city up with vehicles, ploughing hundreds of buses through shopping and leisure streets that are now thriving without them. Halt this rush to hand back our streets to vehicles. Evaluate how Metro services are coping with the diversions. Make these streets permanently traffic-free, while ensuring reasonable access for loading and servicing vehicles at strictly limited times, and prioritising the provision of disabled parking bays on the approaches. We're lucky to have seen and experienced how amazing our city centre could be - now let's make it permanent! #KeepBelfastFun
Build the Sydenham Greenway in Belfast
Between the Connswater Greenway at the Victoria Park underpass and the start of the North Down Coastal Path at Kinnegar there is a 4km gap with no traffic-free route. It's time to change that and open up new active travel options in this part of Belfast with the Sydenham Greenway. This proposal would link Belfast's excellent greenway network with a pathway to Holywood and on to Bangor, but the connections within the new 4km greenway which are just as exciting. Hundreds of workers at George Best Belfast City Airport, IKEA, Holywood Exchange and the north end of the Harbour Estate would be able to viably switch from car to bicycle for commuting. Big retailers like IKEA could begin to provide cargobike hire and delivery services across Belfast, as happens in other cities in Europe. Right now the Holywood Exchange site is almost exclusively served by motor vehicles. The Department for Infrastructure are planning a 500+ space park and ride facility right beside the proposed route of this greenway. Backing and building this greenway would enable "park and cycle" journeys to and from Belfast, especially if a linked expansion of the Belfast Bikes system stretched as far as Tillysburn and the City Airport. This idea requires public support to show the key stakeholders - Belfast City Council, the Department for Infrastructure, Belfast Harbour, Ards and North Down Borough Council, Translink and George Best Belfast City Airport - how a greenway would revolutionise travel options for commuting, leisure, shopping and onward travel via the airport. Read more about the proposal, see maps and images and find an in-depth article on the Northern Ireland Greenways website.