feasibility studies: ni greenways

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new Greenways in ni


greenway feasibility studies in NI

In 2016, the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) in NI published a strategic plan seeking new greenways across NI. Councils were invited to submit business cases and feasibility studies for projects in their area, with the best ones brought forward for further assessment. Of approximately 20 first stage projects McGarry Consulting were involved in 5 (25%), of which 2 (67%) were brought forward to the second stage. 

DfI listed over 1,000 miles of potential greenways across NI and RoI

DfI listed over 1,000 miles of potential greenways across NI and RoI



Greenways are traffic-free (often off-road) pathways meant for cyclists, walkers and runners.  They are popular, and have been shown to encourage active lifestyles. Existing examples within Greater Belfast include Comber Greenway, Connswater Greenway and Lagan Tow-Path (below):


McGarry worked in partnership with McAdam Design (Clogher Valley and Moy-Caledon Greenways), Sustrans (Doagh-Larne, Greenisland Greenways) and the Paul Hogarth Company (Carryduff Greenway) to complete the following feasibility studies and business plans:


Carryduff Greenway - potential 3 mile greenway across mixed used farm land, forests, off-road paths and public rights of way. It would connect Carryduff housing, leisure centre, schools, reservoir and key nodes with Cairnshill. It could provide off-road connections onto Belvoir Forest and Lagan Towpath; and provide a safer alternative than the very busy Saintfield Road. 


Clogher Valley Greenway - a 40km route between Caledon (Co. Armagh) and Fivemiletown (Co. Tyrone) via Ballygawley. This was along the old Clogher Valley railway route that is now mostly disappeared. The existing road was linear and one lane each way, meaning it was daunting for non-car users. The proposed route could connect on to Fermanagh and various cross-border routes. 


Caledon to Moy Greenway - a proposed 11 mile route along the old Ulster Canal route. This was part of much wider cross-border project that had seen sections already completed in Monaghan Town and elsewhere. The route could eventually link to Belfast, Donegal and the North Coast (via the Bann) and was intended to help promotive active travel and tourism. 


Greenisland Greenway - the only former railway line still in existence and in full public ownership, this 5km stretch from Monkstown to Greenisland was considered perfect for a Greenway. It bordered residential areas, was close to schools and business and finished at Greenisland Railway Station. It could link to nearby greenways and lough shore paths (all the way to Belfast), and tied in with local community area plans.


Doagh to Larne Greenway - this 16km route would also cut through Ballyclare and Ballynure. It could provide several shorter loops, as well as a continual stretch along the pre-existing EuroVelo route. The route, like many of the others, could be phased both in sections and in scale. There was already a delineated cycle lane along the side of the main A8 road. Many of the towns and villages would also benefit from short loops and traffic-free sections.



McGarry Consulting provided introduction; strategic context; consultation/reviews; demographic profiles; area profiles; case studies; review of existing travel plans/routes; risks (including legal, technical and financial); potential benefits (including estimates of health impact, number of users, journeys made and modal shift - people switching forms of transport); costs and delivery; management, marketing and funding information; monitoring and evaluation; partnership possibilities; conclusion and recommendations. 

To learn more about Greenways and why so many people choose to work with McGarry Consulting, call McGarry Consulting today on 028 90517007.