Thursday, January 18, 2007

Snow, trams and light rail heading for East Belfast

So while we brace ourselves for a few flakes of snow that will make moving about on the roads, rails and through the air a misery, we can also contemplate the arrival of new forms of public transport in Belfast.

Dublin's LUAS

The Department for Regional Development have commissioned a feasibility study into the introduction of a rapid transit system through parts of Belfast. The study will look at trams as well as the more expensive option of a light rail network.

The old railway line between Dundonald and the city centre, now partially converted to a footpath and cycle track, would link up with the routes running through St George Belfast City Airport, the Harbour Estate and the new Titanic Quarter.

David Carins on his first day in Parliament

In the DRD announcement, David Cairns, the Regional Development Minister, stated:

“While bus based rapid transit was previously assessed at the time of the Belfast Metropolitan Transport Plan in 2004 as the most cost effective and operationally flexible, I am conscious that the situation has not remained static and that it is prudent that the studies examine other rapid transit options including light rail.”

“Such schemes are expensive and it is important that they are fully and properly studied before decisions are taken.”

The report will be published mid 2007.


Miffy said...

Let's hope this comes sooner rather than later. As a regular bus user I get sick of sitting (or often standing) on ancient buses which are often quite frankly death traps. Translink seem to think that voiceless scum get buses because they treat passengers appallingly. Of course, because many BBC NI staff avail of trains, the inadequacies of the railway are often flagged up in the press and managers are held accountable. I have yet to meet a BBC staff member on a bus - no doubt if more powerful people 'went metro' the system would buck up its ideas faster.

Anonymous said...

I remember the railway line through Dundonald closing and, although I was young, I remember the anger of my Dundonald relations that it was just going to rot away. They thought it could have been used for a 'fast road' into the city. Imagine if that had been done, there would now be a speedy route from a connection with the M3 where the old 'County Down' railway terminus used to be.
Of course if the railway had been sustained what a great commuter line it would have been from Donaghadee, Newtownards, Comber, Ballynahinch,Newcastle, etc.
Vision was non-existant.

Anonymous said...

I note from reports in Galway that they have done a feasability study of a light rail system using hydro and wind generated power to power their trams. This study has proven that a city of 75,000 can sustain a light rail system .....why not a city like Belfast so

Mike Lockhart said...

Why isn't this happening? It's not fair!!!

Alan in Belfast said...

Work starting no earlier than 2015 according to the background page on the DRD website