News / 23rd June 2020

LQ BID Welcomes Cycle Lanes

Linen Quarter BID welcomes the instalment of a two-way cycle route along Bankmore, Hardcastle, and Marcus Ward Streets, as well as the eastern side of Dublin Road.

The intervention follows a recent announcement by the Minister of Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon, to improve cycling and pedestrian infrastructure in the city. The cycleway provides safer travel for cyclists and improves connectivity between Shaftesbury Square and the City Centre (via Alfred Street). The new infrastructure helps accommodate changes to travel-to-work patterns, which are anticipated due to Covid-19.

The cycleway supports ideas in the Linen Quarter BID’s regeneration vision, which aims to transform the area into a more sustainable district. The vision includes a cycle greenway connecting East Belfast, the Gasworks and the Transport Hub / Queen’s University, via a new bridge over the river Lagan. This will be supported with enhanced cycling facilities such as bike shelters and shower amenities.

Cycling is recommended by the NHS to cut the risk of health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, obesity, and diabetes. Moderate cycling uses up to 500 calories per hour, so a 20-minute bike ride burns the same calories as a cappuccino, bar of chocolate or 175ml glass of wine. Cycling raises the metabolic rate, alleviating future weight gain, and helps increase self-esteem and reduce stress.

To further boost sustainable forms of transportation within the district, Linen Quarter BID is working with the Department for Infrastructure and Belfast Council on three proposals to improve the pedestrian experience. These include temporary road closures to facilitate a new social hub at Brunswick Street; transformation of on-street parking bays to create a pedestrian boardwalk that stretches from City Hall to Botanic; and the installation of roadside parklets with benches and planting. It is anticipated that these interventions will improve pedestrian capacity and help local hospitality to welcome back customers.