Northern Ireland

Cyclists and walkers urged to share Lagan Towpath

Cyclists and walkers on the Lagan Towpath are being urged to show consideration to each other as the 11-mile route becomes more popular.

It follows concerns raised by members of the public over inconsiderate use of the 11-mile path.

Representatives from Lagan Valley Regional Park, and other organisations will be issuing advice and leaflets from Tuesday until 3 September.

There are over 500,000 recorded visits annually.

Park manager Andy Bridge said: "The Lagan Towpath connecting Stranmillis, Belfast with Sprucefield, Lisburn, qualifies as the most popular public pathway in Northern Ireland, this success brings with it the problem of managing such a large number of users."

'Courtesy'

Constable Gerard Keenan, from the Balmoral Neighbourhood Policing Team said the initiative was about "education, not enforcement".

"We simply want to encourage everyone using the towpath for leisure activities, whether for walking, running, exercising their dogs or cycling, to show courtesy to other users," he said.

"While officers on specially equipped police bicycles regularly patrol the towpath, on Saturday we will have an increased presence at Shaw's Bridge.

"We will be reminding cyclists that even though the towpath is part of the National Cycle Network, pedestrians have the right of way."

A facility for members of the public to have their bikes serviced will be available.