New Belfast transport hub announced
A major new transport hub for both buses and trains could be bound for Belfast city centre, the government announced.
The all-in-one facility would be built in the area around Great Victoria Street and the Grosvenor Road that currently houses separate bus and rail stations and adjacent land owned by operator Translink.
Transport Minister Conor Murphy said he had reached an agreement with Translink and the Strategic Investment Board to explore the opportunities for the integrated hub.
Mr Murphy said an exercise would now be conducted to gauge private sector interest in the project.
"I welcome the opportunities that this project would create to provide a more integrated and accessible signature transport facility within Belfast," he said.
"Clearly in a difficult budgetary context it is important that we explore the possibilities for private sector investment before commitments are made, but this project has the potential to create the leading transportation hub on the island of Ireland which will provide a basis for further opportunities for all the citizens of Belfast and beyond."
Catherine Mason, Group Chief Executive for Translink, said the proposal was an exciting and visionary opportunity for Belfast.
"The new integrated transport hub would see the regeneration of the whole city quarter, considerably enhancing the area for everyone," she said.
"It will not only offer the very highest levels of operational performance and enhance the overall passenger journey experience but as a bold and civic gateway to and from the west of the city it is well positioned to offer attractive, dynamic and imaginative mixed use opportunities for investors."
The proposal would utilise part of the extensive site at Grosvenor Road owned by Translink, together with the existing facilities at Glengall Street, which comprise the Europa Bus Centre and Great Victoria Street Train station.