East Belfast Alliance MP Naomi Long has said today’s announcement that the preferred route for the EWAY rapid transit system has been amended to utilise the main road corridor rather than the Comber Greenway is excellent news for East Belfast. She said it represents major progress for the community and for Alliance who campaigned for the safeguarding of the Comber Greenway.
Naomi Long MP said: “This is a major step forward for the community in East Belfast. Along with users of the Greenway, Alliance representatives have consistently campaigned to protect the Comber Greenway from development and instead maximise the use of the existing road corridor for the development of enhanced public transport. We therefore welcome this significant change from the original plans.
“I am delighted that the Greenway is no longer the Department’s preferred route, as it provides such an important resource for East Belfast. It is not only a valued off-road walking and cycling route, but a community space and an important environmental asset. Much work has gone into making the Greenway the treasured green space it is and I am very pleased that this is now reflected in the consultation.
“I would encourage people to actively engage in the consultation as it is a valuable opportunity to make their views known and to secure both the future of the Greenway free from development and also investment in high quality public transport in East Belfast, two very important objectives.”
East Belfast Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle said: “I strongly welcome news that the Greenway is not the preferred route for the rapid transit system. I have been supporting Sustrans to help try and get improved crossing facilities in relation to the Greenway and to try and connect the inner East Belfast and Titanic Quarter sections of the route.”
East Belfast Alliance MLA Judith Cochrane said: “The many people who are regular users of the Greenway will be absolutely delighted at this news. The Greenway is a very important green space and has massive potential as regards highlighting our rich cultural heritage. Now that the uncertainty is over we can build upon its massive tourism potential.”
Pottinger Alliance Councillor Máire Hendron said: “This is a very positive day for East Belfast. I am extremely pleased that the Comber Greenway is not the preferred route, as so many people enjoy this resource for leisure activities.”