Londonderry: Social distancing work under way in city

  • Published
The Peace Bridge over the River Foyle

Work has begun in Londonderry city centre to facilitate social distancing and encourage more walking and cycling.

The Department for Infrastructure is widening walkways, removing street furniture and converting part of a dual carriageway to a cycle lane.

New social distancing signage is being added to the Peace Bridge across the river Foyle.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said work had now started and will be completed within three weeks.

"These measures will allow the people of Derry to continue to enjoy the riverside walk and cycleway safely whilst maintaining social distancing as we learn to live with the challenges of Covid-19," she said.

The minister said the measures were "a first step" and some "had not been tested before".

"They may not all work, but we have an opportunity now to try new things and to learn from them," she said.

The minister said the measures were an "an effective temporary scheme " but now "is the time to be bold and to be ambitious."

One lane of the Foyle embankment, a dual carriageway that runs between the harbour and Foyleside roundabouts, is being converted to a temporary two-way cycle lane.

At Queen's Quay, the public car park and a car park owned by Derry City and Strabane District Council will undergo a number of modifications allowing for the widening of the existing footpath and cycle lane.

Derry's Mayor Brian Tierney said the measures will facilitate social distancing and help businesses when they reopen by cutting city centre traffic.

"We believe this project will provide assurance to the public and will assist our businesses in planning for social distancing as they prepare to open again in the coming weeks and months," he said.

Ms Mallon said similar works were already under way in Belfast with a roll out also planned for Newry.