Published: 19th APRIL 2024

Active Travel Hub a 'welcome beacon' in Belfast

Starting her first job with the Federation of Small Businesses, Louisa Ludlow-Williams was keen to find out about active travel options. Having volunteered with Sustrans, she was delighted to discover our activities were available on her employer’s doorstep at Cathedral Gardens Hub.

A woman wearing a hi-vis vest stands over a bike in Belfast city centre.

Louisa Ludlow-Williams started work in the offices of the Federation of Small Businesses (pictured behind) which is across the street from our Cathedral Gardens Active Travel Hub. Photo: Sustrans

The hub opened in October 2022 as a pilot project by Belfast City Council with support from Ulster University, the Department for Infrastructure, the Department for Communities and the Public Health Agency. 

We offer a full programme of walking and cycling-related activities, delivered by Rachael and her team of volunteers. 

It’s open to everyone and particularly aimed at those living, working and studying in the area. 


Visit for variety of reasons

Louisa’s visited Cathedral Gardens Hub for a variety of reasons in recent months. She said: “I’ve found the hub a welcome beacon in this part of town, especially as a solo female cyclist who has had plenty of ‘interesting’ experiences cycling about Belfast city centre. 

“I attended one of the events, which was a historical walking tour of the city centre. The tour was excellent and as someone who is here at least six days a week, it was very insightful.  

“We brought along our puppy whose patience varies but the organisers were very understanding, welcoming and accommodating. 


Puncture repair workshop helped ride home

“I also popped into the puncture repair workshop which is well done. I was able to get a tyre pumped up which made my ride home smoother. 

“Overall, it's just lovely to know that there is somewhere to go and get a bit of a hand if you’re having any bike issues.

"Especially in Belfast, which often feels quite hostile to cycling and where it's more often than not that I see glass on my bike route to work!  


Lovely to have somewhere to engage with cycling community

“Having cycled in major European cities, cycling in for 9am each day from the Donegall Road and barely seeing five other cyclists is a disappointing sight.

"It can be lonely too, so having somewhere close to work that I can go and engage with the cycling community is lovely. 

“I have volunteered with Sustrans since I was about 16 years old, on and off, but my engagement with this hub has certainly reignited my wish to volunteer more often.   

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Sustrans has provided amazing support to make cycling in Belfast feel safer and less lonely. Blockquote quotation marks

“I cycle because it's the quickest and most efficient way to get about, however the city can make this a challenge. Sustrans has provided amazing support to make cycling in Belfast feel safer and less lonely. 

“I think the hub could act as even more of a centre for cyclists to engage with each other and get help with issues.  

“I know this is a big ask but while Belfast remains, in my opinion, relatively hostile to cycling, having somewhere like the hub would be beneficial to encourage new cyclists to start or seasoned ones to cycle more.” 

A woman wearing a hi-vis vest stands with a bike in a square in front of a cathedral.

Louisa Ludlow-Williams pictured outside St Anne's Cathedral close to our hub; Louisa hopes to volunteer with us again after her positive experiences at Cathedral Gardens Active Travel Hub. Photo: Sustrans

See what’s on at Cathedral Gardens hub on our Sustrans in Northern Ireland Eventbrite page. 


Find out more about our work in Northern Ireland. 

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