Work will begin shortly on the Waterside section of the Greenway in Derry to link the Peace Bridge to the Foyle Bridge
The transport charity Sustrans is working with Derry City Council on the project and when it is completed it will be possible to walk or cycle a complete almost traffic free route around a large part of the River Foyle via the two bridges.
Sustrans scheme manager Ross McGill said: “It’s fantastic news that work is about to start on the new Waterside Greenway, which will make a real difference to how people make their everyday journeys in Derry.
“Many residents travel into the city centre for their everyday journeys and this route will help even more people take advantage of the new Peace Bridge.
“It also means that people from across the city will be one step closer to a traffic-free greenway on both sides of the Foyle.”
Tom Reid, from DRD Travelwise, said: “Travelwise is delighted to be associated with the development of the new Waterside Greenway and looks forward to significant increases in the numbers of people choosing cycling and walking as realistic options for travel across the city and indeed further afield.
“The routes are all being designed to enable more Derry residents the opportunity to use the already successful Peace Bridge for their everyday journeys.”
Frank Hewitt, Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, said: “Sustrans was awarded £50m from the Big Lottery Fund’s Living Landmarks: People’s Millions competition to create new cycling and walking routes to improve local travel in communities across the UK.
“One of those routes is the Waterside Greenway and I am delighted that work is beginning on this important project which will create a safe and traffic-free route for people to walk or cycle around the city”.
The new routes will link to the eastern side of the Peace Bridge and into St Columb’s Park, providing access to the spectacular new facilities the park has to offer.
The next phase of the project will see the riverside greenway opened up for a further 3km to the Foyle Bridge, providing access to the waterfront from the Waterside for the first time in living memory, and linking to communities along the route.
Mayor Alderman Maurice Devenney, said: “I was delighted to see the commencement of Phase one of this important project for the city.
“The Council is committed to developing a high quality riverside greenway network which is identified as a key priority in the Access Plan (2009-2014).
“The new Greenway will make a real and positive difference to how people will make their everyday journeys across the city and help take us one step closer towards a traffic-free greenway on both sides of the Foyle.”