Greener ways of travelling promoted in Newtownabbey

Getting on your bike will be even more attractive as Newtownabbey is set to benefit from new bicycle stands.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 4:38 pm

Encouraging residents to ditch their car for a greener way of travelling, these stands will be installed in town centres, parks and open spaces across Antrim and Newtownabbey and will provide a safe place for people to lock up their bicycles while out and about.

The bespoke stands have been funded through the Recovery funding provided through the Departments for Communities, Infrastructure and Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Jim Montgomery said: “We welcome this funding which is being put to good use across the borough. During the recent restrictions we have seen a lot more people out cycling and we are keen to continue to encourage this as society begins to get back to a level of normality.

John Blair MLA and Ald Julian McGrath at Valley Park.

“Not only does cycling bring many health benefits to our residents, but it also helps reduce congestion on our roads and improves air quality. Having these extra parking facilities for bicycles will help encourage people to travel in more environmentally-friendly ways, whether they are shopping in our town centres or enjoying our beautiful parks and open spaces.”

In addition to the new bicycle stands, a bicycle hire pilot is being developed for Antrim which will provide bikes for hire at key locations around the town.

Meanwhile, South Antrim Alliance representatives have welcomed developments in walking and cycling routes across Antrim and Newtownabbey as they launched an environment policy document, Alliance Green New Deal.

South Antrim MLA, John Blair said the reason the Alliance Party highlighted local walking and cycling routes, as they prepared locally for the launch of the Green New Deal document, was due to the significance active and sustainable travel plays in enabling a green recovery.

Mr Blair said: “We must rapidly ensure that walking and cycling are accessible and safe across Northern Ireland to accelerate the move to active travel and a green recovery.

“I am pleased that we have been able to help improve cycle and walking routes in Valley Park, which will, hopefully, eventually link to existing infrastructure at the Northforeshore.”

The Environment spokesperson for the Party added: “This major policy document is designed to tackle not only the climate emergency but a range of issues to help bring an economic and social transformation for Northern Ireland as we seek to recover from Covid-19.

He added: “Green New Deal presents a positive template for building back better.

“There has been much talk about a ‘new normal’, it is important that we create new opportunities for new beginnings in terms of both the protection and enjoyment of our natural environment.

“Alliance remains determined to progress the matters addressed in Green New Deal during the remainder of the current Assembly mandate and also into the new Assembly, due to be elected in May 2022.

“Hopefully we will have an increased team of Alliance MLAs to deliver these priorities.”

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Click here to read Newtownabbey Community Collaboration ‘THRiVE’-ing with launch of new website

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