Best of Belfast

NIGreenways offers a study tour looking at the worst of Belfast’s cycling infrastructure. The Guardian included the “Spider’s Web” from Belfast’s Harbour Estate in their list of the world’s worst cycle lanes.

Reporting on the Giro, Dutch cycle racing pundit Gio Lippens said of Belfast:

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He used “fietsen” – every day bicycle use, not “wielrennen” – road racing. Is he right?

NIGreenways lists the worst. I want to highlight what is good about cycling infrastructure in Belfast. Let’s celebrate:

1. Stranmillis Embankment;

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2. Upper Arthur Street / Alfred Street;

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3. Park Road;

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4. Victoria Street;

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5. Barrack Street (a notorious rat run closed off, kept permeable for cyclists);

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6. Castle Street (not the ASL, but the contraflow lane);

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7. Belvoir Drive (a pinch point, with bicycle bypasses either side);

Belvoir Drive

8. Saintfield Road (cyclists on shared use path are given own lane and priority over traffic on side road – apologies for the shaky picture);

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9. Translink trains

20140225_131228 Train

“So what”, I hear you say, “a bike on a train…” It’s the strap holding the bike upright. These are the little things that make cycling in and around Belfast better.

All of the above can be improved. There are plenty of things wrong with what I have shown. But it’s a start, all of this wasn’t here when I arrived in the early ’90s. Let’s encourage our politicians and the Department of Regional Development to keep going and put in more good cycling infrastructure.

(The Lagan Towpath, Comber Greenway, Sam Thompson Bridge and so on are excluded because they are all shared use.)

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2 thoughts on “Best of Belfast

  1. I’m looking at image 8 and wondering how that stops cyclists from being left hooked by idiots turning left… It doesn’t…

    The Dutche would have had a decent margin between the cycle lane and the road which would have required motorists to have looked left at a give way before going left over the cycle lane…

    1. Yes, as I said at the bottom, there is a lot wrong with what I have photographed. But this solution is better than keeping the cyclists on the shared path and for them to stop and give way to all traffic, including traffic from behind. Not long ago I was nearly scooped by someone turning from the citybound Saintfield Road into the side road who failed to stop and give me right of way.

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