Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Douglas-Onchan walking and cycling route planned

Douglas Image copyright David Kneale
Image caption Ray Harmer MHK said "very simple changes" could be made to improve the route for cyclists and walkers

A new route for walkers and cyclists between Douglas and Onchan could make people feel safer, the island's infrastructure minister has said.

Plans to map out quiet roads and paths between the island's capital and the neighbouring village are being developed.

More than 40% of the Isle of Man's population lives in the area.

Ray Harmer MHK said the plans would create a "pleasant route" for commuters travelling on foot or by bicycle.

He said non-car users sometimes "don't feel safe" even though "it may actually be safe".

"It's giving people the opportunity [to] go from their work place, and to really say this is a pleasant route that we can walk or run or cycle to get to where we want to get to," he added.

The plans are part of the department's "Active Travel" strategy which aims to get more people walking or cycling short journeys.

The project has been backed by Rick Holden of Isle of Man Cycling, who said it meant giving equal priority to road users who are not in cars.

Mr Holden said: "It's looking at the whole aspect of things... if you prioritise one mode of transport for 50 years, you end up with what we've got, and that's everyone using their vehicle because it's the easiest thing to do."

While the project is at an early stage, the route is expected to stretch from the town centre, through upper Douglas, and on to Onchan, through traffic-free areas wherever possible.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites