Ballymoney Borough Council has urged the public to use public transport to ensure they have the best view of the Giro d’Italia race.
The prestigious race which will come to Northern Ireland on 9 May is expected to attract thousands of spectators along the route which starts in Belfast, before heading up the Causeway Coast and then on to Armagh.
Details of road closures have now been published and the public is being asked to plan how they will travel to the race, to school or to work. Full details are available on http://www.trafficwatchni.com
Road closures will take place in Belfast and along the Causeway Coast at various times from 8am to 5pm. On the final day (Sunday) the race will travel from Armagh to Louth with road closures taking place from 7pm the previous evening through to 2pm.
Speaking at an event to unveil Council’s plans for the Giro as it passes through the Ballymoney Borough area, Development Chair, Alderman Bill Kennedy said “The Giro provides a brilliant opportunity to showcase this beautiful part of North Antrim and the breathtaking causeway coastal route and to avail of the economic benefits which the event presents. This world class spectacle is on our doorstep and is a must see. I would encourage spectators coming to watch the race as it passes through the Borough to make use of public transport, where possible, to give everyone the best possible chance of enjoying the excitement and thrill of the race with minimum disruption to everyday life. ”
At an event in Belfast earlier this week Transport Minister Danny Kennedy said: “Northern Ireland is set to stage the Grande Partenza or ‘Big Start’ of this renowned race featuring some of the best cyclists in the world. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the public to witness this sporting spectacle right on their doorsteps.
“A significant amount of planning has gone into organising this major event which will require a number of road closures throughout the three days of the race. I want everyone to come along and watch the race along the route so it is important that they plan their travel arrangements accordingly. The public should avoid using their cars and instead use public transport or cycle or walk to the race or to work or school.”
Police Service of Northern Ireland, Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said: “A considerable amount of work has gone into the planning process for this event, involving a significant number of police officers and over 1,200 volunteers. While it is clear that the road closures will have an impact on the public and local businesses, it is our aim to minimise, as much as possible, disruption to residents, workers and public services. I know that many people are looking forward to the event and we are keeping our fingers crossed that the weather is kind to the competitors, the spectators, and the officers on duty along the route.”
Information on public transport will be available on the Translink website at http://www.translink.co.uk/giro
Translink’s Ian Campbell said: “Tailored transport plans will be in operation for each day and location of the event. We will provide enhanced train, coach and bus services to get visitors safely to and from the Giro D’Italia events. We will also operate shuttle bus services from key Park and Ride locations.
“Passengers are advised to allow extra time for their journeys due to road closures as there will be timetable changes, diversions and alternative departure points on selected bus services during the event.
“To help everyone plan their journeys during the Giro, simply click http://www.translink.co.uk/giro or call our contact centre on 90 66 66 30 for a full breakdown of train and bus services, great value tickets as well as full details on bus service disruption.”
Ballymoney’s pink “Giro” themed events include “A Taste of Italy in town centre 2nd -10th May. Shops and eateries offering the best of Italian cuisine, fashion and accessories and there’s a pre-race pink party with music and family fun on Saturday 3rd May.
The town is also hosting an after show Race park on Saturday 10th 1pm – 4 pm with music and family fun. On Race Day there is junior cycle followed by family fun from 10 am – 2 pm at Station Road Dunloy (A26) organised by Dunloy Cycling Club, family fun at Ballymoney (Biesty’s Centra @ Portrush Road Roundabout) and in Ballybogey Village. Ballymoney Rugby Football Club are providing overnight facilities for caravans and motorhomes at the Club premises on the route at the Kilraughts Road Roundabout. The 2014 Bike Week Programme of events has also been announced with over six FREE cycling events for ALL the FAMILY to celebrate Bike Week and the Giro d’Italia coming to town.
Visit www.ballymoney.gov.uk for details. Bike Week is promoted and encouraged by Ballymoney Borough Council, Ballymoney Cycling Club, Bann Wheelers and Coleraine Borough Council, this Programme of cycling events has been made possible through the financial support of Travelwise NI.