Public consultation opens on proposed Belfast transport hub on Great Victoria Street
Northern Ireland's public transport company Translink has launched a public consultation on ambitious plans to create a Belfast Hub at its Great Victoria Street site.
Translink said it has been engaging with local stake holders over the last 18 months to create development proposals for the best integration of transport and maximise wider regeneration opportunities.
The hub was mentioned as a key development priority in Joe Berridge's Belfast: Future City plan which was published in 2014.
The Belfast Hub proposals have now moved into a public consultation phase to allow the public to submit its views.
Translink Group Chief Executive Chris Conway said the hub will help regenerate the area of the Great Victoria Street site.
"The Belfast Hub will ensure we have the right infrastructure in place to attract more people to use public transport and active travel modes, supporting a key outcome of the draft Programme for Government.
"Along with other key projects, it will enable a transformation in public transport making a positive impact for everyone in Northern Ireland," he said.
"Identified as one of the NI Executive’s flagship projects, this impressive new facility will act as a catalyst for regeneration in one of the special action areas designated in Belfast City Council’s city centre and regeneration strategy, providing new jobs, investment opportunities and supporting the growth and prosperity of NI.
"We look forward to receiving public feedback and would encourage everyone to have their say on proposals for this major development."
The consultation has been welcomed by the Construction Employers Federation.
Managing director John Armstrong described the hub as a "hugely important scheme not just for Belfast but for all of Northern Ireland".
"It is critical not just for further growth in the use of public transport but also for enhancing Northern Ireland’s attractiveness as a region to do business and invest in," he said.
"Accompanied by the plans for the Derry/Londonderry Transport Hub, the two schemes will be of major benefit to the community that they serve and in respect of their job creation potential both within the construction industry and beyond.
"Given the significant sustainability challenges that the local construction industry is currently facing, it is absolutely vital that construction begins on schedule in 2018 as it will be a welcome boost to both main contractors and the supply chain.
"The scheme will also, unquestionably, lead to the creation and sustaining of hundreds of construction jobs. For these reasons, and for its wider economic benefits, the Hub is a vital investment that deserves Northern Ireland’s full support."
You can respond to the public consultation via the Translink website or by consultation surveys available in main Belfast Translink stations (Belfast Central Station, Europa Buscentre, Great Victoria Street Railway Station and Botanic Train Station).
There will also be two public events; the first at the Europa Hotel on November 9 from 12-8pm and there will be a static display at the Europa Bus centre running from November 10-25 which will be manned by representatives of the Hub project team between 8.00am – 10.30am and 12.30pm – 2.30pm on 10 and 17 November 2016.
This consultation phase is open until Friday December 2, 2016.
Further consultation will take place in 2017 before a planning application is submitted. For more information on the Belfast Hub click www.translink.co.uk/thehub/ and follow @Translink_NI #belfasthub.