Belfast Transport Hub
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Belfast Transport Hub

The Belfast Transport Hub is a planned railway and bus station to replace Great Victoria Street railway station and the Europa Buscentre.[1]

Context

The first railway station in Ulster was opened on the site of today's Great Victoria Street station in 1839. It became the northern terminus of the GNR's non-stop Dublin - Belfast express in 1947, and in 1962, having been taken over by the Ulster Transport Authority, platform 5 was closed, filled in, and turned into a bus station providing a truly integrated bus-rail station for the first time in Belfast's history.[2]Northern Ireland Railways closed the railway part of the station altogether in 1976 and the original buildings disappeared beneath the Europa Hotel and Great Northern Mall. Railway services resumed, however, in 1995 with the opening of the present-day Great Victoria Street station, integrated with the Europa Buscentre, yards away from the site of the original 1839 station.[3]

The Transport Hub will not be on strictly the same site as today's Great Victoria Street station, instead being in the corner of Grosvenor Road and Durham Street. Historically this area was occupied by the railway goods yard, until goods traffic ended in 1976, and at present is partly used as the bus depot.[4]

The Transport Hub thus fits into a history of bus-rail integration linked to the Great Victoria Street area that goes back to 1962, save for a 19-year interruption between 1976 and 1995.

Proposal

Railway Station

The new station would have eight platforms (Double that of Great Victoria Street) under a large overall roof, composed of four island platforms with two faces each. Two of these islands would be short, covered entirely by the roof, and two long.[5] Like the current Great Victoria Street, it will be the terminus of NIR's Derry, Larne, Bangor and Newry lines. The Enterprise will be moved from Lanyon Place as part of the Hub project, meaning the flagship express service between Belfast and Dublin will terminate here.[6] Unlike at Lanyon Place, there will be a dedicated Enterprise lounge.

Bus Station

Like the present Europa Buscentre, the Transport Hub will have stands for Ulsterbus, Goldline and Metro buses. However, the number of stands will be increased from Europa's 18[7] to 26. There will be a dedicated lounge for Goldliner passengers.

Weaver's Cross

The area surrounding the hub will become a new neighbourhood which Translink has named ''Weaver's Cross''.[8] This 100,000m2 site will comprise leisure, residential and commercial facilities.[9][10]

Station Quarter

Weaver's Cross combined with the Hub and a rejuvenated Glengall Street, Hope Street and Durham Street will become ''Station Quarter'', Belfast's ninth Cultural Quarter.[11]

Progress

As of February 2018, progress has mostly consisted of public consultation and minor preparatory work. In April 2016 the goods sheds in the former Grosvenor Yard were demolished to make way for the Hub. Stanchions and support beams from the goods sheds were donated by Translink to the Downpatrick and County Down Railway.[12][13]

Controversies

Though the project is still in its early days a few issues have arisen, including:

  • The demolition of the ''Boyne Bridge'', which has particularly upset the residents of Sandy Row[14][15]
  • The lack of integration with the new Glider rapid transport system, criticised as a missed opportunity for a transport hub[16]

References

  1. ^ "Work on £175m Belfast transport hub to start in 2018, says Translink boss". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved .
  2. ^ Sinclair, Ian (2009). Along UTA Lines. Newtownards: Colourpoint. p. 10. ISBN 978 1 906578 49 7.
  3. ^ "Geograph:: Great Victoria Street railway station - Belfast [56 photos] in J3373". www.geograph.org.uk. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Belfast Transport Hub - Future Belfast". www.futurebelfast.com. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "Belfast Transport Hub - Future Belfast". www.futurebelfast.com. Retrieved .
  6. ^ UK, DVV Media. "Belfast Transport Hub planning underway". Railway Gazette. Retrieved .
  7. ^ "Europa Buscentre". www.translink.co.uk. Retrieved .
  8. ^ McGonagle, Suzanne. "Video: Neighbourhood surrounding new Belfast transport hub to be called Weavers Cross". The Irish News. Retrieved .
  9. ^ Translink. "The Belfast Hub - Translink". www.translink.co.uk. Retrieved .
  10. ^ "Belfast Hub - Belfast City Council". www.belfastcity.gov.uk. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "Belfast Hub Public Consultation Boards" (PDF). Translink. February-March 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "Belfast's Great Northern Railway goods yard sheds razed to make way for new hub". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved .
  13. ^ "Demolition Of GNR Grosvenor Goods Sheds 2016". Flickr. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Row over replacing Belfast's Boyne Bridge". BBC News. 2017-10-18. Retrieved .
  15. ^ "Translink 'to work with community' to address transport hub concerns". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved .
  16. ^ "Belfast rapid transit Glider bus revealed ... but passengers face walk to transport hub". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved .

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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