News / 24th January 2022

Improving Cycling Safety in LQ

As part of our Safer District initiative, Linen Quarter BID is keen to promote cycling safety across the Linen Quarter, particularly for members who commute to and from work, and those visiting the area by bike. The Department for Infrastructure, through their Road Safety grant scheme, is supporting this endeavour.

In order to improve cycling safety in the Linen Quarter, LQ BID are able to offer the following to members: 

  • Free training from Cycling UK
  • Free Dr Bike sessions with the Turnaround Project
  • Bike Marking sessions with PSNI (through our dedicated Street Beat team)
  • Cycling accreditation for workplaces
  • Advocating for improved cycling infrastructure

In accordance with the above mentioned, LQ BID recently held a competition in collaboration with See.Sense, to provide members with the chance to win award-winning bike lights, to encourage more cycling in the City Centre during the colder months. Providing lights to encourage visibility on the roads not only helps our individual members, but it supports our aim to develop a pro-cycling district.

Entrants for the competition simply had to answer the following question: How would you improve cycling in South Belfast between City Hall and Queen’s / Belfast City Centre? The competition attracted many entries and responses were constructive, which have been summarised below:


How would you improve cycling in Belfast?

  • I would like to see more bike racks outside shops or parks.
  • Hold a bike day on a Sunday once a month, where certain streets are closed to cars to give hesitant adults and children the chance to go exploring the city on bikes without the worry of traffic.


How would you improve cycling in Belfast?

As somebody who has been commuting by bike in Belfast for 20 years, and who has also lived in cities like Berlin, I really hope we finally do see some change to make cycling a more viable, safe, pleasant and inclusive form of transport. For me the things that are needed are:

Education – from children, teaching them to cycle safely, to motorists, teaching them that the road is a shared space, to the public in general – teaching them about the benefits of cycling – from mental health to physical health, to financial, to environmental.

Infrastructure – not just the bike lanes, advance stop boxes, advance bike lights, etc. that cyclists need, but also better, more affordable, and adequate public transport in general to reduce number of vehicles on the road.

Culture change – this doesn’t happen overnight, but incentivising cycling in some ways (cycle to work schemes, cyclist/pedestrian only infrastructure e.g., bridges over Lagan) might help move this forward more quickly. And I loved the idea of days in the year (Sundays during the summer?) where the whole city is closed ff to vehicles – it’s a great way for people to increase their confidence and to actually imagine what a cycling city might look like.


How would you improve cycling in Belfast?

I would improve cycling in Belfast by using CCTV footage to encourage good behaviour by both cyclists and car drivers. This could only happen if there was a Belfast cyclists registration scheme and some sort of readable tag stuck to a bike so CCTV picked it up.

This could mean sending letters out re cyclists going through red lights, car drivers who intimidate cyclists etc. The idea being that it encourages good road behaviour and is aimed at having a word with stupid road users. Of which we need a lot fewer.


How would you improve cycling in Belfast?

I would move the pedestrian crossing outside the Limelight to the junction of Linenhall Street/Ormeau Avenue and change it to a pedestrian/cyclist crossing. This would make it easier and safer for cyclists to join Ormeau Avenue from Linenhall street.  Ormeau Avenue is one of the main feeders for the Gasworks gateway to the Lagan Greenway/Towpath.  In addition, I would close off some of the parking spaces outside the Limelight.  These block the view of oncoming traffic for cyclists (and motorists) turning left onto Ormeau Avenue towards the gas works.


How would you improve cycling in Belfast?  

There has already been great improvements to cycling in Belfast City Centre with the addition of cordoned Cycle lanes.

I would like to see additional areas to park and secure my bike, to allow me to visit clients, shops and cafes. As the majority of these places, I visit have very little or no facilities to do so.


How would you improve cycling in Belfast?

  1. More secure bike parking infrastructure;
  2. More pedestrianised streets;
  3. Promotion of the use of bike share schemes; and
  4. Bike Buses to help cyclists cover longer distances


How would you improve cycling in Belfast City Centre?

1/ Consider the installation of more secure bike parking and locking within the city centre – either on wide pavements or kerb parking or beside beeches. The problem for those that do not have a lockable works related bike parking space is that those coming in to a bit of shopping have to secure their bikes to lamp posts, pillars or railings where these can be found, and these are not necessarily convenient to shops – especially around City Centre popular areas like Primark / M&S  / Restaurants etc.

2/ Consider more green road bike lanes into and out of the city centre.

3/ Provide advice (possible notices beside bike lock-up stands) for cyclists to ensure that both wheels are padlocked with the frame onto the post/bike stand. (Following instances where expensive bikes have had a (typically) back wheel stolen -albeit the front wheel and frame were secured to a post by chain.

4/ Request from businesses that have CCTV coverage to ensure this includes any bike parking areas to assist in any crime prevention.


How would you improve cycling in Belfast City Centre?

There are 2 key things that I’d like more of:

  1. Segregated cycle lanes like the one in Alfred Street. City Centre streets are busy with cars and buses and stop people from cycling in as they don’t feel safe, segregated cycle lanes remove that fear.
  2. Secure bike parking. I’m lucky, the building I work in, Harvester House, has this but there is very little available for general use and stops me making some journeys by bike.


How would you improve cycling in Belfast City Centre?

I would look at certain roads that are quiet, such as Linenhall Street, turn it into a pedestrianised street. Trees, grass, walkways, and cycle paths. (Optimistic I know).

Towpath path along the river (near Shaftesbury centre) could do with a line along it to suggest lanes for bike and pedestrian, there is a lot of issues with bikes speeding through groups of pedestrians.

This would be useful for pedestrian as well as cyclists, but a bridge over from near the Ormeau Park car park to the towpath would connect a lot of people to the city safely.


Twitter responses: 


  • Reduce unnecessary traffic, no through traffic on botanic avenue. Other roads reduce traffic volume and speed. Design junctions with priority and safety in mind for pedestrians and cyclists.


  • Address Shaftesbury square where Botanic Avenue meets the Dublin Rd, currently hazardous. Consider an LTN or bus-gate to eliminate through traffic from Botanic Ave. Then finish linking Dublin Rd. cycleway to Adelaide St. and on to City Hall, and make people aware of this route.


  • Do you know of the Marcus Ward street/ Bank more link, Alfred street route from Dub Road. I would like to see this route bolstered with prioritised active travel lights at end of Bankmore crossing to Alfred street and a dedicated cleaner for this route.


  • Segregated and protected cycle lanes with priority given to active travel where necessary to make use of the surplus tarmac in the area. Too much space for cars and not enough for people!


  • A South Belfast equivalent to the NYC High Line. Can you imagine how fun that would be.


  • Dedicated segregated cycling infrastructure.


  • Simple really. A high quality, safe, joined up, logical, wide, smooth, priority, regularly swept, gritted, enforced, segregated and protected cycle track, in both directions, that can be used by anyone from 8 to 80, whether on a bicycle, wheelchair, or a mobility scooter.


  • This is not difficult…remove all on street parking between both & build protected separate cycle lanes!


  • Having pedestrian/cyclist only area would really help making cycling safer , decongest the city and probably would help young children to build their confidence. Need more bike repair station spots too like in CS Lewis square.


  • Having a continuous cycle lane that starts in Bedford St, joins at Dublin road, with no interruptions going either through Bradbury pl or botanic ave. More hubs like @SustransNI and @BelfastBikes along the route #saferdistrict


  • Make Dublin road cycle lane permanent and then redesign Shaftesbury square to give most of the area over to pedestrians and bicycles. Then make a protected bike like on botanic avenue


  • Devolve cycling policy to the Dutch government


  • Continuous, physically segregated lane: City Hall-Linenhall-Marcus Ward-Dublin Road-Botanic (all wide roads, until Botanic). Segregate lanes using parklets, similar to existing ones but narrower + run from City Hall-QUB except for *small* gaps to allow cleaning/sweeper, not.

Cycle Belfast

  • Ban cars.


  • Make the Malone road 2 lane add a protected cycle lane and add more space for pedestrians. A parallel crossing the Stranmillis embankment to botanic park. Botanic avenue could also be pedestrianised with no harm to local business and everything to gain in culture and community.


  • I’d make cycling more equitable. Photo 1 suggests it’s fairly direct and faster to drive between City Hall and Queens then photo 2 by bicycle. I’d make sure cycling is the more direct and convenient option by putting cars on a more indirect routing.


  • Install a segregated protected cycle lane up Bedford St and consider how cyclists merge with traffic at lights and junctions, giving priority to cyclists. Make the Dublin Rd cycle lanes permanent an extend this up University Rd/Botanic Ave. Educate Motorists.


  • Transform Botanic Av. into a pedestrianised/cycling zone. Only deliveries can access the businesses here. Link this together with the (further improved) Dublin Road cycle lane. Finally, abolish the painted line on Bedford St, push lanes together and add a protected cycle lane! 🙂

If you have any further comments you would like to add to the above, please email us at