Since it opened in 2008, the Comber Greenway has become one of Northern Ireland’s most popular walking and cycling routes. Following the line of a former railway, the route goes from Comber to East Belfast, passing through tranquil countryside with views of Stormont and the Belfast Hills. However, it ended at Ballymacarrett Walkway, leaving cyclists and walkers in East Belfast without an adequate route to the newly developed Titanic Quarter and the city centre. Finding a safe route to negotiate the busy Sydenham Bypass and crossing the railway line was difficult.
“ With support from Sustrans we have trained members of our group who can now offer bike maintenance to the community. We will be organising cycling activities and courses for men over the summer. Cycling and using the greenway has offered men in our group a new focus that brings health benefits and potential employment opportunities. ”
A new walking and cycling route was developed to extend the Comber Greenway to the Titanic Quarter and to link it with existing paths into the city centre. The scheme included installing toucan crossings and traffic-calming measures, reopening an old access road into the former docks, improving access to the upgraded Titanic Quarter rail halt and creating a dedicated cycle path to link with the existing riverside paths. The new route also links to the Connswater Community Greenway linear park.
The Comber Greenway extension enables residents in East Belfast to reach the recently regenerated Titanic Quarter and city centre without needing a car. As well as providing access to the attractions and amenities there, the route offers commuters an easy way to cycle and walk to work and student’s access to the new Metropolitan College. It also offers people in other parts of Belfast a pleasant way to get out into the open countryside to the south east of the city.
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