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Newry, Mourne and Down Council have agreed at last night's, 11 October,  Enterprise, Regeneration and Tourism meeting to approve a business case for a £50,000 initiative which would see bike shelters placed throughout the district as well as an extension of the current Active Travel Programme which includes cycle training for schoolchildren.

Council have recently commissioned Sustrans to carry out a 10 Year Active Travel Masterplan for the Newry, Mourne and Down area. We understand that a linkage cycling path through Newry City linking Newry Canal Towpath with the Carlingford Lough Greenway is also being discussed.

Last nights proposal would see two bike shelters/ stands in Newry, two in Downpatrick and a shelter/ stand within three villages or towns in each District Electoral Area.

The project would be 100% funded from the Department for Infrastructure and it is subject to slippage funding under the Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation programme.

The Council Chairperson, Councillor Cathy Mason and Sustrans NI Director, Caroline Bloomfield recently visited St Patrick’s Primary School Legamaddy, Downpatrick to check out the school's cycle training session facilitated by Sustrans NI.

Councillor Mason said, “I am delighted that the Council’s Sustainability Section was able to secure funding to offer such valuable training to schools.  The pandemic has highlighted the importance we all place on the great outdoors and staying active.  Being able to cycle competently and safely is crucial and training such as this, delivered by Sustrans, provides the necessary skills and knowledge to do so.”

Cllr Mason continued, “St Patrick’s Primary School places great importance on encouraging pupils to be active. It was super to experience first-hand the enthusiasm of the primary seven pupils, and their teacher Bronagh Reid, as they took part in the cycling training session today.”

The Council’s Active Travel Programme is presently funded by the Department for Infrastructure as well as  the Department for Communities, the Department for Agriculture, the Environment and Rural Affairs and the Council as part of the COVID-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme. St Patrick’s Primary School was one of the lucky schools in the district to receive a free Level One cycle training session as part of the ‘Active Travel Programme.’

Sustrans Northern Ireland Director, Caroline Bloomfield said, “We are delighted to provide cycle skills training for the pupils at St Patrick’s Primary School, Legamaddy. Given the health and environmental benefits of cycling, it is great to be working with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to develop a culture of active travel in the area. We recently completed a 10-Year Active Travel Masterplan for the Council which we hope will result in better infrastructure enabling more people to walk and cycle in the community.”

 

 

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