Friday 19th March, sees the official opening of the latest phase of the Newtownabbey Way, a joint project between Newtownabbey Borough Council and sustainable transport charity - Sustrans. The route is for pedestrians and cyclists and will be opened at a special ceremony on the new bridge adjacent to Monkstown Wood. The new section of route from the Bleachgreen viaducts to Monkstown Wood is the third phase of the 'Newtownabbey Way' to be completed and means it will be possible to cycle or walk between Whiteabbey and Monkstown on a safe route away from main roads.
Pupils from Monkstown Community School, Whitehabbey Primary School and Kings Park Primary School alongside members of the Glenville Youthclub, Mayor, Alderman John Scott, and Ken Robinson MLA and there will be walking and cycling along parts of the route to converge at the new bridge for an official opening ceremony. The Mayor will be cutting the ribbon and declaring this section of the Newtownabbey Way open.
The 'Newtownabbey Way' is an excellent urban network of walking and cycling routes connecting communities either side of the attractive Three Mile Water Glen from Corr's Corner to the northern shores of Belfast Lough at Jordanstown. The route includes pathways from Whiteabbey to Monkstown including a dramatic route under the Bleachgreen Railway Viaducts. Completed sections along the shoreline and Glen Park are already used by residents and visitors and the final stages of the entire route to Mossley Mill and Corr's Corner should be complete later this year.
The anticipated cost of the Newtownabbey scheme is in excess of £1.5million with main funding from Newtownabbey Borough Council in partnership with Sustrans who are contributing £350,000 of lottery funding alongside funding from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
The creation of the Newtownabbey Way will dramatically enhance the lives of more than 43,000 people who live within a mile of it as they will have access to these safer routes within minutes of their homes. The scheme is one of nearly 80 new routes from Sustrans that are being created across the UK using part of a £50million award from the Big Lottery Fund which was won by the charity in 2007 after a national TV vote.