The area of Derry~Londonderry known as Queen's Quay is essentially a stretch of reclaimed land on the west bank of the River Foyle of approximately 500m from the Harbour Square to the marina at Derry City Council offices.
Historically, the area was a busy port with shipbuilding yards further down river at what is now the former Ft George site. During WWII it was home to 3 navies (US, Canadian and British) and the scene of the surrender of Germany's North Atlantic U-Boat fleet.
In the 1970s with the railways removed and the start of the "Troubles" the city began a slow process of effectively turning its back to the river. No longer a place of commerce and trade where people met, the river was seen as a dividing line, void of activity. The area was a car park up until the late 1990s when, with the arrival of Sustrans and the National Cycle Network (92) some pedestrian and cycle provision was negotiated with the newly established owners, the Department for Regional Development - Roads Service NI.
The car parking remained, however, and the compromised design left much desired for safe and convenient active travel through the area. This often led to user confusion and conflict.
In 2011, following much lobbying and recent improvements to the city's walking and cycling network, the Department for Social Development agreed to invest £450,000 in the refurbishment of the area which included removing 90 car parking spaces, segregated walking and cycling routes, street furniture, planting and lighting. Linking directly to the city's iconic foot and cycle "Peace Bridge", this became part of the Connect2 project to develop a network of traffic-free riverside cycle and pedestrian routes in the city.
The Clipper Around the World race came to Derry in July 2011 just after the scheme's launch and the public (including traders who initially opposed the loss of car parking) came out very strongly in favour of the scheme.
More before and after pictures can be found in the attached PDF.
For further information about this scheme, please contact Ross McGill, Sustrans Area Manager.