Published: 18th OCTOBER 2022

Gearing up for active travel in Belfast city centre

A new active travel hub has opened in Belfast city centre to enable more students and people living in the city to walk, wheel and cycle.

Belfast City Council Lord Mayor is stood holding a bike outside the new Cathedral Gardens active travel hub. ߣߣƵ colleagues are stood either side, all are smiling. Behind them are the blue graphics of the hub exterior, and the surrounding tarmac is painted with blue geometric patterns.

Belfast City Council Lord Mayor, Tina Black is joined by ߣߣƵ Northern Ireland Director, Caroline Bloomfield and Delivery Manager, Steven Patterson for the launch of the Cathedral Gardens Active Travel Hub. Photo: Kelvin Boyes/ߣߣƵ

Housed in two refurbished shipping containers, this Belfast City Council pilot project has opened at the city’s Cathedral Gardens, beside the new Ulster University campus.

It will be on site for approximately two years as a resource for local communities, workers and visitors, as well as staff and students of the city’s further and higher education facilities.

The Active Travel Hub is supported by the Department for Infrastructure, the Department for Communities, Ulster University and the Public Health Agency.

It is being operated by social enterprise Big Loop Bikes and ߣߣƵ.

Opening times for the public

Cathedral Gardens Active Travel Hub is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10am-4pm.

Big Loop Bikes are offering:

  • cost effective bike repair
  • bike purchase
  • leasing schemes.

Whilst we are running a programme of activities, training and events including:

  • led walks
  • led rides
  • on-road cycle training
  • journey planning support
  • active travel promotion to encourage and support more people to walk, wheel and cycle.
Blockquote quotation marks
Ulster University’s Belfast campus is car free and we are actively encouraging our staff and students to use sustainable travel options for their journeys to and between campuses. Blockquote quotation marks
Prof. Paul Seawright, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Ulster University

Welcoming active travel in Belfast

Lord Mayor Councillor, Tina Black welcomed the Hub as part of the Future City Centre programme:

We want to encourage people to travel actively and sustainably in Belfast because we’re committed to making a positive contribution to people’s health and wellbeing, and helping to protect our environment.

Addressing the climate emergency

Infrastructure Minister, John O’Dowd said:

“I am committed to increasing opportunities for active travel to help address the climate emergency and promote greener travel and initiatives such as this one at Cathedral Gardens can make a real positive difference in people’s lives.”

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Ulster University, Prof. Paul Seawright said:

“Ulster University’s Belfast campus is car free and we are actively encouraging our staff and students to use sustainable travel options for their journeys to and between campuses.

Free and secure cycle parking

Prof. Paul Seawright said:

“The new Belfast campus offers almost 200 free and secure cycle spaces, and the University operates a cycle to work scheme, giving staff the opportunity to obtain a bicycle and all the safety equipment they may need.

In addition, Ulster University’s Belfast campus also:

  • has its own park and ride facility
  • is working with public transport provider Translink to provide journey planning advice
  • has developed a city centre walking and cycling map for staff and students.

Building confidence

ߣߣƵ Northern Ireland Director, Caroline Bloomfield said:

“Working alongside Big Loop Bikes, our programmes will help people to overcome barriers and build confidence so they can travel actively.

“Because walking, wheeling and cycling are the most healthy, environmentally friendly and affordable ways to travel.”

Contact us for more information about the Cathedral Gardens hub.

Locate our other active travel hubs in Northern Ireland.

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