Pupils on their bikes as Greenway project launched

Charlotte Johnston and Nathan Thornton from Bocombra Primary School join in the official opening with Minister of Regional Development Michelle McIlveen and Lord Mayor Darryn Causby . Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia. INPT10-050
Charlotte Johnston and Nathan Thornton from Bocombra Primary School join in the official opening with Minister of Regional Development Michelle McIlveen and Lord Mayor Darryn Causby . Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia. INPT10-050

A £1.3 million project that has helped reduce anti-social behaviour and enables Bocombra Primary School children to get to school safely has been officially launched.

The Craigavon Community Greenway Project, which was funded by DRD, was opened on Wednesday by Minister of Regional Development, Michelle McIlveen.

It entailed the revitalisation of the seven-mile cycle corridor linking Portadown and Lurgan train stations as well as the hospital and local communities.

The project saw the installation of three toucan crossings and the refurbishment of eight underpasses as well as widening and enhancing the path with lights and signs, additional cycle lanes, resurfacing, markings and landscaping.

Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Darryn Causby said the project has been used extensively since it was completed in December.

He added, “The Craigavon Community Greenway Project has a made a huge difference to the daily lives of those people who use it for work, school or play and it is great to see this positive impact. Since the rejuvenation user numbers have increased, anti-social behaviour has decreased and community confidence has improved.

“As well as being a vital spine in Craigavon’s commuting network of walk and cycle paths, it has also provided opportunities for recreational activity in a secure environment. We are very proud to see this vital area meeting its full potential and know that it will be used and enjoyed by residents for years to come.”

Transport Minister Michelle McIlveen said, “I am absolutely delighted that my department was able to provide the funding for this project. £1.3 million is a significant investment and demonstrates the importance placed on initiatives such as this.

“Greenways are a great way to provide urban areas with the opportunity to enjoy safe and easy access to fresh air and exercise on their doorsteps. I am particularly keen to encourage the development of similar schemes across Northern Ireland. This rejuvenated and revitalised community greenway is already encouraging more people to be healthy by walking and cycling which can only benefit everyone who lives or works in the area.

“I would like to congratulate all those who worked together to bring this project to fruition, especially the council staff and their contractors. This is an excellent example of central and local government working in partnership to help improve the lives of the local community.