Lighting of the Comber Greenway

Closed 30 Sep 2021

Opened 16 Aug 2021


The Comber Greenway was constructed in 2008 and is currently in the ownership of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI).  It is a 6.5 mile shared use path almost entirely along the route of the former Belfast and County Down Railway line between Ravenscroft Avenue car park, Belfast and Belfast Road, Comber. 

The Greenway has become a popular amenity in the area, used by walkers, runners, wheelers and cyclists, including a significant number of cycling commuters.  During the three years 2017/18 – 2019/20, it saw an average of around 370 cycling journeys and 300 walking journeys daily during the six months April – September, with annual usage levels of around 190,000 journeys at Abbey Road, Belfast and around 140,000 journeys at Belfast Road, Comber.  The urban section of the Greenway, between Holywood Arches and Millmount Road was widened in 2018 to 4m which will have contributed to the increase in numbers using the greenway and annual usage numbers have almost doubled since the start of the COVID lockdown in March 2020. 

In 2020/21 annual usage increased to 370,000 at Abbey Road, Belfast and 250,000 at Belfast Road, Comber.

Since its construction, there has been no lighting on the greenway from Beersbridge Road to Comber.

Why your views matter

The purpose of this public consultation is to gather views and comments as to whether lighting should be provided on the Comber Greenway, and if so over what sections.

Although the Greenway is already well utilised, the Department is keen to maximise the positive impacts of the Greenway for local communities and businesses, especially in the winter months but our proposal has taken into account the ecological nature of the greenway.   The environmentally sensitive lighting will only operate during the hours of darkness and be turned off between 12.00 midnight and 5.00am.

The Greenway is primarily urban for 4.8 miles from Ravenscroft Avenue to the Billy Neill Soccer Centre and mostly rural for the remaining 1.7 miles to Comber.  There is a very short length of lighting along the urban section from Ravenscroft Avenue car park to Beersbridge Road.

During this consultation you will be asked your views on these three options.

1. Option 1 - Do nothing and leave the greenway as it is with no lighting?

2. Option 2 – Install lighting on the urban section of the greenway between Beersbridge Road and Billy Neill Halt?

3.  Option 3 – Install lighting on the whole greenway between Beersbridge Road and Comber?

The Department is seeking your views on which option you prefer.  The eventual preferred option will be shaped by a variety of factors, including costs and available resources, however, the views and comments of local people and those who have a stake in the use and development of the Greenway are vital and will always be at the core of the decision making process.

What happens next

This consultation is now closed.  

The Minister announced in December 2021 that a pilot scheme to light the Comber Greenway would commence in  2022.  

Mallon announces pilot scheme to light the Comber Greenway | Northern Ireland Executive




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