Belfast’s latest cycleway, being constructed on Middlepath Street, has been delayed due to “engineering issues”. The 600 metre scheme, which will link the Comber Greenway to the River Lagan, was due to be completed by the end of March 2018, but will now open on Friday 6th July.
An email enquiry by Rónán Tansey brought this response from the Department for Infrastructure (DfI):
New completion date of 06/07/18 for Middlepath Street cycle lane pic.twitter.com/DFvsQR4NQB
— Rónán Tansey (@ronantansey) May 16, 2018
The Middlepath scheme was first proposed in 2016 as part of an East-West cross city route, ahead of the development of the Belfast Bicycle Network Plan. There was speculation at the time that the scheme could have completed as early as the end of 2016, however timescales have slipped.
Recent images show the use of forgiving angled kerbs on the roadside, which reduce the likelihood of pedal strike. However Dutch style flush 45° kerbs, which allow cycle track users to bump onto the footway, have not been deployed.
The construction, while slow, has begun to take shape on the sections which will use the existing carriageway.
A further section towards Titanic Station and the Comber Greenway will incorporate a widened footway and new controlled crossing.
It had been hoped the route would form part of the Ride on Belfast “Tour de Lunchtime” event during Bike Week, but organisers are now looking at alternative options.
Department for Infrastructure: Work to commence on £300,000 cycle lane at Middlepath Street, Belfast (2 January 2018)