You may have heard the term 'Active Travel' but were unsure of its meaning.
Active Travel simply means making journeys by walking or cycling. These are usually short journeys like walking to the shops, walking the kids to school, cycling to school or to work.
The latest Travel Survey for Northern Ireland from the Department for Infrastructure reveals that just 1% of all journeys are by cycle and 18% by walking but the car is still the dominant mode of transport and represents 71% of all journeys in Northern Ireland.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council recognises there is an urgent need to move to more sustainable low carbon transport, and this includes making improvements to the cycling and walking infrastructure within the district area.
Extensive consultation was carried out as part of developing the Masterplan, including an online public consultation earlier this year to find out residents’ views on Active Travel in the district. The consultation responses were used to inform and shape the Active Travel Masterplan on what the Council and key partners can do to make it easier for residents to travel more actively for work, education, leisure and everyday journeys.
A 10 Year Active Travel Masterplan for Newry, Mourne and Down has been produced which creates a vision to transform our district making it bike and pedestrian friendly, connecting our towns and villages with safe and attractive walks, cycle paths and greenways.
To view the NMD Active Travel Masterplan click on the following:
Basic Bike Maintenance Workshops
As part of our Active Travel promotion, and along with local company Ring of Gullion Cycles, free bike maintenance workshops were held throughout the district during June 2021.The workshops targeted the novice cyclist, who wished to learn the basics of bike maintenance, and covered everything from bike terminology to cleaning your bike, checking for parts that may need replacing, removing wheels when fixing punctures and how to repair your bike. There was also advice on bike safety - use of lights, helmets and high vis clothing.
Schools’ Cycle Training Sessions
Following on from successful training offered to local schools in 2021 and 2022, another five lucky schools in the district received a free Level 1 Cycle Training Session in February and March 2023. The sessions were part of the Council’s Active Travel Programme and were facilitated by SustransNI. Newry, Mourne and Down District Council's Active Travel Masterplan aims to encourage residents to take more journeys by walking and cycling, including where possible, the journey to school. Many children want to cycle to school and this type of training is vitally important to provide them with the skills to do this safely.
Our Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage visited Killowen Primary School, Rostrevor to lend his support as pupils took part in their training session. Councillor Savage is pictured with Killowen Primary School pupils, Teacher Ann Marie Assimwe and SustransNI cycle instructor Diane Whytre.
Other participating schools were Glasswater Primary School, Crossgar, St Mary’s Primary School, Dunsford, Holy Cross Primary School, Atticall and Killyleagh Integrated Primary School.