A new shared footpath/cycleway in Ramsey is helping the community keep fit, stay safe and protect the environment.
The former railway line linking Gardeners Lane and Poyll Dooey Road in Ramsey was officially opened today for use as a shared pedestrian and cycle route following a major upgrade as part of the Active Travel Strategy.
Today’s event was attended by members of the Government’s Active Travel Steering Group, a representative from Ramsey Town Commissioners, and contractors. They were joined by local families.
Infrastructure Minister Tim Baker MHK said:
‘It gives me great pleasure to open this path on the old railway line. The path that existed here was unmade and so was only suitable for the more hardy, who were prepared to get their shoes dirty and at times their feet wet. The new surface enables everyone to use it at any time. This path is highly accessible and absolutely fits the Active Travel aims. I look forward to it ultimately being connected to the rest of the Heritage Trail to provide the Island with a high quality long distance network of off-road routes.’
The newly-surfaced path, which runs for 800 metres including an 86-metre additional path leading to Bunscoill Rhumsaa, builds a network between the primary school and Ramsey Grammar School. It is accessible from the rear of the Lezayre Estate, as well as Auldyn Meadow, which means that children walking or cycling to school now have an easy route to follow. Access is also available to the popular nearby Poyll Dooey nature walks and the Whitebridge ford, and links have been created between the western estates and the town centre.
Minister for Education, Sport and Culture Dr Alex Allinson MHK said:
‘The Department of Education, Sport and Culture has been working closely with Department of Infrastructure and the Public Health Directorate to encourage active travel. This cycle path links residential areas with our schools and I hope that pupils and staff will join families and the local community in choosing this route for convenience as well as personal fitness and wellbeing’.
Minister for Policy and Reform, Ray Harmer MHK said:
‘It is a wonderful initiative, and with simplicity at its heart. It will also have a significant positive impact for Ramsey, not just in terms of improved health, thanks to more active travel on a safer route, but also by benefitting our environment.’
As part of the scheme, the path is due to be fitted with low-level, low-voltage lighting to encourage year-round use. Mr Baker said:
‘COVID impacted the delivery of the lighting, but it will be installed this summer, and will be ready well in advance of the days drawing in.’