Ciclovia Belfast is a Health and Community based initiative which closes a part of the City to traffic on a given day, for a specific period of time in which cyclists are given the opportunity to ride through the traffic free zone of the City.
It is designed to give the public ownership of their City , to encourage family participation, to encourage healthier lifestyles and to encourage and engender community spirit.
Ciclovia Belfast will take place on Sunday 30th October. The cycle freeway will be open from 0930 – noon – you can take the route whichever way you like – there are no rules. We do have an official start of the event at 0930 at Botanic Gardens – if you want to join us for the then please do!
It is a Spanish term and it means Cycle Freeway which features the closing of a section of streets for cyclists.
It has its roots in Bogota Columbia, where since 1974 a Ciclovia occurs every Sunday. It is now an international phenomena and many cities around the world are staging their own version of Ciclovia – Gold Coast, Brussels, Halifax, Atlanta – the list goes on. Paris recently staged a Ciclovia.
Since we held our inaugural event in 2015, a number of other Ciclovia related events have started to up across the UK and Ireland.
Its core aim is to promote community cohesion, mental and physical wellbeing as well as being a fun event for everyone – all ages and abilities.
The key to this is partnership and we have the right partners to help make Ciclovia Belfast happen: Department of Infrastructure Cycling Unit, Belfast City Council, Public Health Agency, PSNI, Belfast Healthy Cities, Sustrans, Translink, Road Services and South Belfast Partnership.
The event is free for everyone to take part in and there is no registration – just come along and enjoy!
The route starts from the top of Botanic Avenue, at the entrance to Botanic Gardens by the College Park East entrance to the Gardens (beside Queen’s University McClay Library, follows all the way along Dublin Rd, part of Shaftesbury Square, Bedford St, Donegall Square West and onto the front of City Hall. All of this route will be closed to traffic. Participants can start from wherever they wish on the route and ride up and down it in whichever direction, and as often as they wish.
The event will run 9:30am until noon. There will be a photocall at 0930 with the Lord Mayor at the College Park East entrance to Botanic Gardens.
PSNI road closures will begin at 9am to facilitate the cycle freeway and will be completed by 09.30am in time for the event to start. The cycle freeway event will end at noon, roads will begin to be reopened by Ciclovia marshalls from 12.30pm and fully reopened by PSNI by 1pm. From 9am – 12.30pm no traffic will be allowed onto the route other than to permit disability access or the removal of cars that have been parked from the previous night. These movements will be managed by event staff and marshalls, based on a plan approved with PSNI. Anyone who requires access / egress should contact us via www.cicloviabelfast.com. If this has not been agreed in advance please speak to an event marshall on the day and we will facilitate this movementwhere and when possible.
All junctions along the route will be managed by trained marshalls who will facilitate crossings for members of the public.
A major southbound route leaving the city centre will be closed (Great Victoria Street and Dublin Road), traffic will be diverted via Sandy Row to the Lisburn Road. Traffic passing the front of City Hall will be unaffected. There may be slight delays at the back of City Hall as cyclists are facilitated crossing from Bedford Street to City Hall. The Ormeau Road is unaffected but drivers are reminded to use the Crossing points, controlled by the PSNI will be available at University Avenue, Donegall Pass (towards Shaftesbury Square only) and at May Street/Donegall Square South/Howard Street.
Access to the route will be restricted during the event with ‘Road Closed’ signs and marshals in place. Marshals will assist traders, customers, church-goers etc to get parked in side streets as close as possible to the route. This will leave just a short walk to your final destination. If you have specific mobility problems, please contact us on 07733 885971 prior to the day and we will endeavour to make suitable arrangements.
Yes we are working closely with Translink and they are managing a revised schedule during the event. Information can be found at www.translink.co.uk.
This is the second time we will have staged Ciclovia Belfast, last year was a pilot scheme. Our focus at the moment has been on the cyclists. However, we of course, encourage anyone on non-motorised transport, so long as it is safe to do so, to participate – so walk, run, use your scooter or in our circus performers case – a very mini trike!
Yes they will be available as normal, with a total of about 300 plus bikes at the various stations. There are docking stations at Botanic Gardens, Botanic Avenue, Bradbury Place, Bankmore Square, Donegall Square East and Linenhall Street visit www.belfastbikes.co.uk.
There will be bike racking available at both Botanic Gardens and City Hall but all bikes will be left at the owner’s risk. Likewise any bikes parked outside cafes etc will, as is normal, be left at the owners risk. We would encourage participants to bring a bike lock.
We have two hubs located at Botanic Gardens and City Hall featuring a range of family focussed cycling, sporting and safety activities. Along the route we will have Sing for Life Choir, cycle training and safety including a lorry for a driver and cyclist safety awareness demo at Donegall Sq West, Circus Performers, Ulster Youth Orchestra and buskers – lots to see and do so please come and join us.
Yes. Standard access provision will be available at Botanic Gardens and City Hall ground. All cafes and restaurants along the route will provide required standard access. Accessible toilets will be available at Botanic Gardens and City Hall.
One of the objectives of Ciclovia Belfast is to encourage participants to purchase food and drink from the local traders along the route and in the City Centre. There will be no food or drink concessions at either hub but the cafes and restaurants along the route will be open and we would encourage you to support them. There will be toilets at both City Hall and Botanic Gardens and all of the cafes/restaurants will have toilet access as per normal business.
There will be normal parking available along the remainder of the Embankment and on the streets around the route. We would of course like to encourage you to cycle to the event.