Giro success sparks fresh debate on lack of cycle paths

Cycle Path

The cycle path on the Dublin Road, Enniskillen under construction

ON THE back of the hugely successful Giro d’Italia held last weekend one local councillor has called for Enniskillen’s cycling infrastructure to be improved.

The International cycling event was held over the weekend and took in areas of Belfast, the North Coast and Armagh before continuing down south and finishing in Dublin.


Despite the Giro not taking in Fermanagh local councillor Raymond Farrell believes the county will directly benefit.

“Having one of the biggest international cycling events come to Northern Ireland in the form of the Giro d’Italia is a fantastic achievement and will be a positive economic and tourism boost to the province.”

He continued: “Through the hosting of a major cycling event, second only to the Tour de France I believe the number of cycling enthusiasts is bound to increase. I want Fermanagh to be taking the lead in promoting safe cycling and encouraging healthy physical activity as too much of our focus in this country is on treating illness and not on promoting healthy lifestyles.

“I believe our Executive at Stormont must increase resources into places like Fermanagh in particular as a leading tourist destination to promote safe cycling among children, among adults and among families as a priority. We also need increased investment in cycling tracks in our towns and more networking of routes to facilitate cycle user requirement.”

DUP councillor and avid cyclist Bert Johnston added his support stating that promoting cycling in the county would be ‘another string to the bow’ of local tourism.
Sinn Fein councillor Thomas O’Reilly recognised Fermanagh as a county that already hosts a wonderful variety of events and a place with great facilities and infrastructure, well capable of hosting the biggest events.

SDLP councillor Frank Britton stated that councillor Farrrell had raised an important issue and highlighted the fact that while there are two long-distance cycle trails in Fermanagh; the Kingfisher trail and the North-West trail, you encounter problems when you reach Enniskillen.

“Both trails whenever you get to Enniskillen, the infrastructure to carry you through the town vanishes.”


Mr Britton proposed on the back on the Giro to lay out safe cycle lanes in the town to link residential areas, sporting facilities and educational sites with the town centre and the South West Acute Hospital.

“We’re ideally suitable, we have low-lying flat land and it wouldn’t require great feats of engineering. We should take this forward again and bring this back to the minister and ask that Enniskillen be treated as a legacy project.”

Sinn Fein councillor Martin McGovern added a note of caution, referencing the condition of some of the rural roads in Fermanagh.

“Some of the roads around our way I wouldn’t advise cyclists to come down. We need them to be in a better condition to drive let alone cycle.”

Robert Gibson, acting chief executive for Fermanagh District Council explained that the council have asked the Stormont Executive for Fermanagh to be a pilot for cycling and to promote the county as a destination for cycling.

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