Belfast Telegraph

Translink 'to work with community' to address transport hub concerns

By John Mulgrew

A new £175m transport hub for Belfast city centre has received a number of objections from residents as details of the scheme have now been released.

Belfast’s new proposed development is set to replace the Europa Bus Centre and Great Victoria Street train station complex, and will be situated on a nearby eight-hectare patch of land.

It is estimated the project could support up to 400 jobs during construction.

However, there has been some backlash to the huge scheme.

One of the main concerns is what will happen to the Boyne Bridge, with two groups writing to the council to say they are opposed to the scheme.

The bridge is set to be rebuilt under the plans.

A letter sent to planners has said: “If there is no minister or Assembly, then who will make the final decision? Can we be assured that there will be a public consultation?”

Another resident raised concerns about the impact on her allotment, including increased pollution due to new train lines.

And a letter also warns of concerns of the overall environmental impact to a BMX track, nursery, outdoor gym and children’s play area, close to Blythefield Park. The multi-million pound facility will be the main rail and coach link to Dublin with direct connections to major airports.

The hub will include a public area concourse, 26 bus stands, eight railway platforms along with a new public square.

Major investors have already had discussions with Belfast City Council about funding the public transport project for the city.

If granted approval, construction site enabling work is due to start early next year, subject to funding. New detailed plans for scheme show sections of the roof of the main hub are designed to reflect some of Belfast’s manufacturing heritage — inspired by linen looms.

A spokeswoman for Translink said it will “continue to work closely” with the community to “address any potential impact on the Blythefield area”.

Translink also said: “We have also worked closely with the local community in Sandy Row during the consultation phase for ‘The Belfast Hub’ and we will continue to do so, to celebrate the history and heritage of one of the oldest areas in Belfast.”

Asked about its current funding, Translink would not say whether any private investors have yet made offers, but that it is “prioritised in the Programme For Government for funding”.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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