Northern Ireland Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has given the green light to 1,000 kilometres of greenways – traffic free paths that can be used by walkers, runners and cyclists.
Many of the paths will utilise disused railways, riverside paths, abandoned canal towpaths or flood embankments, reinventing them for use for generations to come.
Speaking during a visit to a potential greenway on a disused railway track outside Dundrum, Minister Hazzard said: “More and more people are choosing to be active with their travel options and encouraging everyone to lead a more active, healthy life by providing local opportunities is something I and my Executive colleagues are determined to deliver.
“This plan is the pathway to help deliver those opportunities for people across the north, focusing on the development of a 400 kilometres primary and 600 kilometres secondary greenways network that walkers, runners and cyclists can share. The greenway paths will connect towns and cities to the villages and countryside from east to west and north to south and will also be integrated with other modes of transport making it easier for people to leave the car behind.
“Many of the proposed schemes are located on disused railways, riverside paths, abandoned canal towpaths or flood embankments. This will breathe new life in to this redundant infrastructure and create public spaces where people can meet, relax, play or enjoy nature, improving the quality of life for local communities and enhancing the experience for visitors.
A copy of the Strategic Plan for Greenways can be viewed here.