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#BlackPaths

The Black Paths…, moving people…, not cars

Mapping Craigavon’s Black Paths
Craigavon’s active travel network – designed and built in the 1960s – is better known locally as the Black Paths. Presently, there are no maps, signage or other means to navigate this complex network of cycle lanes. As a result – the Black Paths are a mystery to almost everyone outside the immediate area.
This project (funded by the DfI's Road Safety (Safe Travel) Grant Scheme) – aims to help cyclists, wheelers, walkers, residents, newcomers and visitors understand, navigate and use this unique network more effectively. This site explains how the Black Paths connect the 3 main functions of Craigavon – community, leisure and commerce.

Brownlow

Brownlow comprises the residential areas of Drumgor, Legahory, Tullygally, Moyraverty, Drumgask & Monbrief. This area contains the highest density of Black Paths.

Community
Brownlow

City Park

The Black Paths extend from the residential areas into Craigavon park, beyond the Lakes to Tannaghmore Gardens and toward Lough Neagh.

Leisure
City park

Work & retail

Rushmere shopping centre and the four surrounding industrial estates (Seagoe, Carn, Silverwood, Portadown Rd) are all connected and accessible via the Black Paths.

Commerce
Work & retail

Key features

What makes the Black Paths unique?

New Town

Craigavon was a “New Town”. The Black Paths were an integral design feature from the start. It didn’t face the problems that come with retro-fitting a Victorian town or city.

Separation

The Black Paths aren’t a series of segregated cycle lanes running parallel with the road. They are an entirely separate transport system, removed from cars through grade separation.

Connectivity

The Black Paths connect everyone to everything. Community, school, work, retail, rail, bus and leisure facilities are all linked through a dense network of cycle lanes and footpaths.

Distance

The cycle network alone measures around 40km. Approximately 90% of this is separated from traffic. That's longer than the entire Portadown to Newry towpath!

Landscape

Craigavon's 3 functions – community, commerce and leisure – were integrated with landscaped parkland, mature trees and low density housing for health and well-being benefits.

Community

Craigavon was designed to be a place where the very young and the very old could travel safely. A cohesive, connected place – where safety, efficiency and convenience were paramount.

A vision for a new city

Geoffrey Copcutt was the new city’s initial designer. His centralised vacuum cleaning system and civil nuclear power plant, proved to be two pipe dreams too many. However, his solution for future car dominance was more visionary.

Man and motor are usually presented as irreconcilable forces - rather than incompatible…. These are not mutually exclusive functions and one does not have to be satisfied at the expense of the other.

Geoffrey Copcutt, Chief Designer –1963

We have almost by default designed out of our city centres the extremes of age range. The very young and the very old… enter the city centre at their peril… safety, efficiency and convenience will be paramount considerations in the new concept of the city region.

Geoffrey Copcutt, Chief Designer –1963

We expect complete segregation between pedestrian and vehicular movements - noise and atmospheric consideration will be of primary consideration.

Geoffrey Copcutt, Chief Designer –1963

News

News, stories and links about the Black Paths

Black Paths Cycle Tour

Cycul | June 27 2022

To celebrate Bike Week this year, several events were held on the Black Paths. With the support of Live Here Love Here and ABC Council we organised two tours of the Black Paths, intended to showcase the incredible active travel network stretching from Craigavon to Portadown & Lurgan.

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Black Paths Project Launched

Cycul | March 24 2022

Craigavon Lakes has become increasingly popular over the past few years for walking, cycling, wheeling and running, but it’s only a tiny part of a larger, traffic-free travel system, unique on the island of Ireland.

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Tullygally PS pupils take the plunge and ditch bus for bikes

Cycul | February 21 2022
Pupils at a school in Craigavon have been getting on their bikes in a unique initiative to improve their health, save money and protect the environment. Children from Tullygally Primary School have been cycling to and from swimming classes and sporting events instead of relying on the school bus.
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Minister Mallon funds Black Paths Mapping Project

Cycul | February 12 2022
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has allocated £85,000 for local road safety initiatives funded by the Department’s Road Safety (Safe Travel) Grant Scheme. Minister Mallon - Road Safety Grant Scheme. "I look forward to seeing the difference these initiatives will make…".
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The Lost City of Craigavon

Cycul | December 24 2021

Newton Emerson’s celebratory and irreverent look at the lost city of Craigavon, unearthing the original plans, meeting the evicted farmers and visiting the residents of the experimental city. Warning – contains a lot of cycling.

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Completion of £400k Craigavon Lakes Active Travel Improvement Scheme

Cycul | December 21 2021

Work on a £400,000 upgrade scheme to improve the shared footway and cycleway around the Craigavon Lakes has been substantially completed to enable it to be brought back into service ahead of the Christmas break.

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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council – Active Travel Masterplan

Cycul | November 17 2021
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council have appointed Arup Consulting to prepare an Active Travel Masterplan for 2 key areas in the Borough. This project will be part of a greater Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Project funded by DfC and DfI.
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Contact us

…if you have news, photos, links or just want more info, drop us a line.

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