Published Monday, 14 April 2014
A multi-agency briefing ahead of the Giro d’italia in Belfast City Hall. (© Presseye)
The prestigious race commences on 9 May and is expected to attract thousands of spectators along the route which starts in Belfast, before heading up the Causeway Coast and then onto Armagh.
Details of road closures have now been published by Roads Service and the public is being asked to plan how they will travel to the race, to school or to work.
Mr 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."
He added: "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."
- Road closures will take place on Friday 9 May across parts of Belfast and up to Stormont from 9.30am to 12 noon and again at 4pm to 8.30pm.
- On Saturday there will be road closures in Belfast and along the Causeway Coast at various times from 8am to 5pm.
- On the final day the race will travel from Armagh to Louth with road closures taking place from 7pm the previous evening through to 2pm.
PSNI 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."
While Ian Campbell from Translink said tailored transport plans will be in operation for each day and location of the event and advised commuters to plan their journeys ahead 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," he explained.
"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."
The Giro Festival Belfast, 'Get on yer bike!', organised by Belfast City Council, will run from Saturday 3 to Sunday 11 May and will feature a packed programme of entertainment happening across the city to coincide with the Giro d'Italia.
© UTV News