The Department for Infrastructure's Walking and Cycling unit  have held an Active Travel presentation with Newry, Mourne and Down Council to discuss ideas that would make the area safer for active travel. It was part of the Sustainability and Climate Change Forum presentation on 21 January.

Ideas put forward by council included linking the Newry Canal Towpath with the Carlingford Lough Greenway which could make Newry a focal point for the Great Eastern Greenway. Walking routes from communities on the periphery of Newry into the city centre were also touched on as was reallocating road space in Newry city centre to make it more people focused.

Cycle and walking routes like this one in Craigavon are greatly needed in Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/
Cycle and walking routes like this one in Craigavon are greatly needed in Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

A 'green lung' through the Canal Bank car park between Mill Street and Dublin Bridge was also illustrated in the presentation.

Greenways mentioned included Newry Towpath and Carlingford Lough Greenway as well as potential Greenways from Newry to Armagh via Lissummon Tunnel;  Warrenpoint; Mountains of Mourne; Castlewellan and Ardglass.

The DFI Minister Nichola Mallon's priorities include delivering sustainable infrastructure that will transform our communities and lives, creating more opportunities for active travel, making our roads safer for walkers and cyclists and having walking and cycling at the heart of the work of her department.

2011 Masterplan

The Newry City Centre Master Plan in 2011 spoke of "the existence of the Newry Canal and Clanrye River running through the centre of Newry makes it uniquely suited to a comprehensive network of foot and cycle paths. These paths or Greenways present a real opportunity to link the majority of Newry’s neighbourhoods with one another and with the city centre."

It added "The benefits of such a system would be considerable. It would encourage many more people in the city to walk or cycle to and from the city centre, thereby reducing road congestion, improving air quality and greatly contributing to the health and fitness of the city’s population." Ten years on it rings as true as it did when the report was produced.


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