AN ABC Alderman has said it is vital that Markethill enjoys strong links with a redeveloped Gosford Forest Park.
Alderman Jim Speers has also stated that the link also needs to be physical so the town can benefit from the extra thousands of tourists the council expects to welcome to Gosford once the redevelopment has been completed.
Mr Speers was speaking last week after the official launch of the park’s new walking, pony-trekking and cycling trails.
“Years ago there had been plans for building a foot-bridge from the park (in the area where the current lay-by is situated just past the entrance to the park) to the town,” said Mr Speers.
“It didn’t materialise back then but I still think it is a good idea and one which could really help Markethill continue to thrive.
“If we had a foot-bridge linking the town and the new walking and cycling trails then people could choose to walk into the town and take advantage of the great shops, restaurants and bars before making their way back to the park.
“The plans for Gosford are very exciting but we should not be looking at the park in isolation, instead we need to maximise Markethill’s return through the redevelopment. As is stands anyone walking from the town to the park or vice-versa has to negotiate a very busy road but a foot-bridge would let them do that in a safe manner.”
Mr Speers said he has been very impressed with how the plans for Gosford have progressed.
“I had raised the need for the camping facilities to be updated a couple of years ago which started the conversation between the Forest Service and the council. It is very exciting to see where we have got to and from January 1 the council will take on the running of the park. I am looking forward to seeing the roll out of the plans for Gosford as we transform it into a five-star family-focussed tourist attraction.”
The Ulster Gazette revealed recently how the pricing structure for the park has been confirmed by the council with annual passes now costing £25 – a reduction of over 50%.
For further details and to purchase the new annual pass online visit www.getactiveabc.co.uk/gosfordforestpark