ENVIRONMENT Minister Alex Attwood has described the Newtownabbey Way as “a great project with great benefits for the local community.”
Speaking at the official unveiling of the walking and cycle path last week, he commented: “Northern Ireland’s urban areas and urban fringes are becoming increasingly important to provide walking and cycling opportunities for people to have easy access to the natural environment. The Newtownabbey Way provides a wonderful opportunity for people to experience nature on their doorsteps.
“My Department was able to provide the grant aid for this project, and I congratulate Newtownabbey Borough Council for ‘setting the wheels in motion’ in bringing all the partners together to complete this route.”
Speaking to the Times after cutting the ribbon to open the new route, the Minister added: “This covers all the bases - it’s a beautiful setting, it encourages people to enjoy their natural heritage more, it creates an opportunity for people to get out and about and improve their health and it gives people somewhere to walk, cycle and run, so in every possible way this is a great project with great benefits for the local community.”
Mr Attwood, who recently bought himself a bike and has already cycled part of the route, also welcomed the new pathway as “an important educational resource” for local children and young people to learn about natural heritage.