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New bike hire proposal part of £363k ‘green’ vision for Antrim and Newtownabbey

Bikes will be made available for use in Antrim and Newtownabbey if a scheme proposed by the borough council is approved for funding.

A pilot bike hire scheme is among proposals being forwarded to the Department for Communities as part of a £363,000 funding bid to improve “green” infrastructure across the borough.

There are also plans to improve and link the cycle route within Glas na Braden Glen in Newtownabbey.

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This will involve widening the entrance and the existing path and the removal and replacement of some trees and installation of safety rails.

Cycling (stock image).

Elsewhere, other infrastructure work is focused on flood alleviation at Knockenagh Park and improvements to the grounds at Rathfern Community Centre “to increase use if the area for outdoor leisure and recreation and as a key entry point to Carnmoney Hill and the wider Belfast Hills”, the council has been told.

Improvements to the Antrim Boardwalk have also been earmarked at a cost of £130,500 included in the proposal. This will involve replacing timbers and a handrail. A water feature and lighting have been suggested.

Commenting on the proposals at a remote meeting of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Glengormley Sinn Fein Councillor Michael Goodman said he was “disappointed that the proposed project to link Mallusk with Gideon’s Corner is not being taken forward in this spending round”.

However, he said he has been assured that this is still “a live project going forward to further funding rounds”.

He went on to say that he was prepared to back the recommendation to accept the proposals which he believed would “enhance the borough”.

Seconding the proposal, Glengormley Alliance representative Alderman Julian McGrath said he hoped others can come forward in further proposals.

Airport Sinn Fein Councillor Annemarie Logue asked what happened to the Lough Neagh cycle route, which she described, as “a key strategic route in relation to tourism”.

“It seems to be very one-sided. I am concerned how this criteria came about. I welcome them but wonder what happened to the Lough Neagh route. I am just very disappointed that it has not been mentioned.”

She was advised by council officer Majella McAlister, Director of Economic Development and Planning, that those brought before the council could be delivered “within a short timeframe”.

Glengormley DUP councillor Alderman Phillip Brett asked Cllr Logue to explain what she meant about the projects being “one-sided”.

“I am quite concerned about this remark generally. What is the member referring to?” he added.

Cllr Logue said. “It is about the cycle ways very much linked to the Glengormley side of the borough. I would like to see more in the Antrim and Lough Shore area but I understand the criteria.

“It is one of the longest cycling routes in Europe. I think we should tap into that from a tourism point of view.”

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

Click here to read: £130k package to enhance walking routes in Antrim and Newtownabbey

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