Calls for improved cycling infrastructure on Ravenhill Road

A call has been made to improve the cycling infrastructure on Ravenhill Road to improve transport for the growing community in the area.

Green Party Councilor Brian Smyth has written to the Infrastructure Minister asking for the South Belfast route to be included in Belfast’s cycle network plans, believing it could become a popular active travel corridor for this part from the city.

He says that currently Ravenhill Road suffers from a lack of public transport, with no buses available on Sundays, and is considered the ‘poorer relation’ of neighboring Ormeau Road and Cregagh.

With plans for a new bridge over the Lagan River from Ormeau Park to the Gasworks, Councilor believes the time is right to plan a new designated cycle route for the area which would improve residents’ access to the center -city.

Speaking to Belfast Live, Councilor Smyth said: “Ravenhill Road is a growing and vibrant area which is becoming more popular every year, but it lacks the transport infrastructure that residents need.

“Public transport is poorly served even if it has become a very attractive place to live.

“With the glider proposed for Ormeau Road this could mean that designated cycling infrastructure may not be able to be put in place there leaving Ravenhill Road as the best option available and I believe it could become a very successful active travel corridor.

“Currently there is space on the road to put the infrastructure in place and with a lower slope than Ormeau Road, this could be an ideal location for a cycle path which would also serve the areas of Ormeau and of Cregagh.

“Together with the plans for the new bridge to the gasworks, it creates a perfect route that would make it much easier for people to get around the city without having to use a car.

“Belfast has become far too dependent on the car and we need the infrastructure in place to encourage people to use other modes of transport which will not only improve congestion around the city but reduce emissions and will improve the health and well-being of all who live here.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Infrastructure said: “Last year, Minister Mallon published ‘ Making Belfast an active city – Belfast Cycling Network 2021 ‘. This document, which provides a blueprint for a radical change in cycling infrastructure in Belfast over the next 10 years, includes a proposal for a safe cycle route on Ravenhill Road and other proposals within Lisnasharragh. The Department is currently working on a delivery plan for the Belfast cycle network and this will set out timelines for the delivery of the various programs in the network.

Minister Mallon has set up a blue/green infrastructure fund, to fund these active travel schemes and this year has committed £13.5 million in capital funding from this fund for active travel schemes being set up implemented by the department and by the councils. The Minister remains fully committed to increasing opportunities for active travel as an important measure to help address the climate emergency.

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