Bike trail project halted as review is carried out

Mountain bike enthusiasts say they have ‘profound concerns’ over phase two of the £336,000 trails project at Davagh Forest in the Sperrin mountains.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 11:16 am

They claim they have been trying to get answers from Mid Ulster District Council after work came to an abrupt stop in March.

A Council spokesperson said they were reviewing the scheme.

At the start of the year, the Council announced it was building 6.5km of new bike trails - expected to be completed by the end of April.

Mountain biker in action in Davagh Forest.

Davagh Forest is one of Northern Ireland’s top attractions for mountain bikers.

A spokesperson for Grassroots MTB, which represents mountain bikers across Ireland, said they have raised the following concerns with the Council, but received no response:

- The tender for this project was based on a six-year old design specification and without an update ground survey being conducted to provide reliable and accurate assessment of current ground conditions which had significantly changed since the initial design in 2016.

- Why did the Council commission not conduct an update ground survey and do proper due diligence when examining the tenders?

- Why have Council officials failed to engage openly with Grassroots MTB representing mountain bikers?

A spokesperson for Mid Ulster Council said: “Unfortunately ongoing technical and contractual issues mean work on the new mountain bike trails has had to stop for the time being and we appreciate this is disappointing news.

“While we’re not in a position to provide further detail at this point, we can confirm that, in conjunction with our funders, we are now reviewing the overall scheme. We will update other stakeholders in due course.”

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