West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Head of DRD Cycling Unit visits Omagh

Published: 9 December, 2014

Andrew Grieve studies the cycling master plan for Omagh with members of Omagh Cycling Initiative and Declan Mc Aleer MLA

Andrew Grieve studies the cycling master plan for Omagh with members of Omagh Cycling Initiative and Declan Mc Aleer MLA

Proposals for an Omagh cycling master plan received a boost last week when the Head of DRD's Cycling Unit, Andrew Grieve visited Omagh in response to an invite from Declan Mc Aleer MLA.

Mr Grieve held a meeting with representatives of Omagh District Council, DRD Western Division and members of Omagh Cycling Initiative (OCI), where the proposed Omagh master plan was put on the table.

Following the meeting, Mr Grieves went on a cycle of the existing network along with the OCI members and Mr Mc Aleer.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Grieve said "Following on from the public consultation on the draft Bicycle Strategy for Northern Ireland, the DRD Minister's Cycling Unit plans to develop bicycle networks in urban areas throughout Northern Ireland starting with Belfast. Following completion of that network plan, work will begin looking at other urban areas taking account of existing strategies, plans and initiatives that are already in place.

"Transport NI, working with the Omagh Cycling Initiative, Omagh District Council and local representatives have started to create a network which has the potential to be a good basis for a future Bicycle Network for Omagh. The Cycling Unit met with this group of stakeholders in early December, discussed the detail of their plans and visited a number of the routes by bicycle.

One of those who took part was OCI representative, Sean Harpur 'The engagement was very positive and OCI are appreciative that Andrew and Claire from the DRD Cycling Unit came to Omagh. Whilst the town has a very extensive network there remains gaps and links that could be developed. We look forward to continue working together to get more people using their bicycles for everyday trips.

According to local MLA Declan Mc Aleer "This latest meeting follows on from a similar initiative we took in August with the DRD Western Division. Following that engagement, I welcome the proposals coming from DRD relating to the A5 Dublin Road/Crevenagh Road/ Irishtown Road link, the proposal to link the Riverview Road with the Donaghanie Road and the proposed pedestrian/cycle path to connect James Street to Railway Terrace.

"The recent confirmation from Western Division that they been successful in getting additional funding following the October monetary round is also very welcome. This will allow the completion of the Drumragh Avenue path and the delivery of the Crevenagh Road/Dublin road scheme before April 2015.

Mr Mc Aleer concluded "Cycling offers major social, health and economic benefits for our society. Omagh has an already well-established cycling network and I believe that with a bit of collective focus we can fill the missing links and bridge the gaps in the network".