What is Ciclovia?

What is Ciclovia Belfast?

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 people who cycle 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.


When is Ciclovia Belfast 2020?

Ciclovia Belfast is TBC. The event is a fun event for all ages and abilities. The cycle freeway is yours to cycle whichever way you like. Key times are:

Traffic free Cycle route open: 9:30AM – 12:00PM
See map for the cycle freeway.
Fun, free activity at two hubs:
Belfast City Hall – 9:30AM – 12:00PM
Botanic Gardens – 9:30AM – 1:00PM

There will be a photocall for the official cycle of the route at 9:30am at McClay Library, Botanic Gardens – we would be delighted if you could join us!


What does Ciclovia mean?

It means cycle freeway. A key feature is the opening of city streets to allow people who cycle to cycle in a traffic free zone.


Where did the ideas originate from?

It originated in Bogota Colombia, where since 1974 a Ciclovia occurs every Sunday. It has now grown into an international phenomena and many cities around the world are staging their own version of Ciclovia – Tucson, Paris, Medellin, Gold Coast, Brussels, Halifax, Atlanta – the list continues to grow.


What is the purpose of Ciclovia Belfast?

It’s core aim is to promote community cohesion, mental and physical wellbeing as well as being a fun event for everyone – all ages and abilities. It is part of Belfast becoming a leading City in terms of sustainability.


How did you make the event happen?

The key to this is partnership and we have the right partners to help make Ciclovia Belfast happen: Department for Infrastructure, Belfast City Council, Public Health Agency, Linen Quarter Bid, PSNI, Translink, FORS, Sustrans and Road Services.


How much does it cost to take part in the event and do I have to register?

The event is free for everyone to take part in and there is no registration – just come along and enjoy the morning!


When and where does it start from?

The cycle freeway runs to and from the hubs at Botanic Gardens and Belfast City Hall – in no particular direction. A traffic free route will be created for people who between Botanic Gardens and City Hall, running along Botanic Avenue, Dublin Road and Bedford Street. 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.


Will the roads be completely closed to traffic?

The traffic free cycle way will be active from 09:30 until 12:00. To ensure that this is a safe space for those on bikes, a traffic management plan will be implemented from 08:00 until 12:30. This plan has been agreed by the relevant statutory agencies and a Road Closure Order will be in place. Vehicle drivers should follow the diversions as directed. Marshalls will also be at every junction along the route and will be able to assist. If you have specific mobility issues and require access along the route, please contact us in advance at events@communnitymultisport.org and will do our best to facilitate.


What road closures will be in place?

Ciclovia will result in a number of roads being closed for several hours on Sunday morning with minor disruption expected to the south of the city centre between 08:00am and 12:30pm.

A traffic free route will be created for cyclists between Botanic Gardens and City Hall, running along Botanic Avenue, Dublin Road and Bedford Street. There will be no access to these roads meaning that Bruce Street will also be closed at its junction with Great Victoria Street. ‘Road Closed’ signage will be present on all approaches.

A team of nearly 50 volunteers will help to provide access to homes, businesses, churches etc. along the route, using the side streets to get drivers as close as possible to the closed sections.

City bound traffic on Great Victoria Street will be unaffected.

Wellington Place, Donegall Square North at the front of City Hall and Chichester Street are unaffected.

The Ormeau Road is unaffected.

Three intersections will be operational to get vehicles across the route:

  • May Street – Howard Street at the back of City Hall (one way as normal)
  • Donegall Pass (Ormeau Road to Great Victoria Street and Shaftesbury Square only)
  • University Street (both directions)

Great Victoria Street and Dublin Road country bound will be closed. Traffic can use Sandy Row or the Ormeau Road to reach the south of the city.

The process to reopen roads will begin at 12:00 and will be completed by 12:30.

Drivers may experience increased cycle traffic away from the route as cyclists make their way to and from the event.

Queries relating to road closures and traffic management may be directed to 07787 414776.


Will the bus schedule be affected?

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


Is the event only for cyclists and do you need a bike?

The focus of the event is to encourage people to come and cycle at the event but we are also keen to invite non cyclists to come to the event. We would like to encourage anyone on non-motorised transport to participate – so walk, run, use your scooter or in our circus performers case – a very mini trike!


Will the City Bikes be available for hire?

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


Is there somewhere that I can leave my bike safely?

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.


What activities will be taking place on the day?

We have two hubs located at Botanic Gardens and City Hall featuring a range of family focussed cycling, sporting and safety activities. There will also be activity along the route. All of this is FREE. Follow our blog for all the latest details.


Will there be Disability Access?

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.


Are dogs welcome?

Yes, but they must be on a lead at all times.


Will I be able to get something to eat and drink 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.


If I am coming by car where can I park?

There will be normal parking available along the remainder of the Lagan embankment and on the streets around the route. We would of course like to encourage you to cycle to the event.


Where can I find out more?

Visit www.cicloviabelfast.com; Facebook and Twitter @cicloviabelfast and #CicloviaBelfast on instagram.

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