Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon has announced that the main works on the NI Executive Flagship Belfast Transport Hub project are set to commence.
The enabling works, delivered by Graham, are nearing completion, the railway system works, delivered by Babcock, are underway and main works will be delivered by a Joint Venture of local construction company Farrans and global group Sacyr.
The new multi-modal Transport Hub will replace the existing Europa and Great Victoria Street bus and rail stations. It will provide greater capacity with an increase to 26 bus stands, 8 railway platforms, enhanced walking and cycling connectivity, greater comfort and accessibility encouraging greener, active travel for a healthier, smarter city. The Weavers Cross development delivered as part of the project will regenerate the lands around the transport hub and facilitate economic growth and urban regeneration.
During a site visit Minister Mallon said: “I welcome this latest exciting milestone for the ambitious Belfast Transport Hub project which is an economic, social and environmental game changer for Northern Ireland. I have been clear that we need to see an increase in the use of public transport and encourage more people to consider active travel options so that we can tackle the climate crisis. To achieve that we need to have the right infrastructure in place.
“When completed the Belfast Transport Hub will be the largest integrated transport facility on the island of Ireland bringing together many aspects of how we travel including greener and cleaner travel by bus, rail and cycling. In addition users of the new hub will enjoy modern spacious facilities inside with a large concourse and enhanced retail space.
“With an expected annual footfall of over 20 million, this important NI Executive flagship project will bring a host of benefits to support the economy. It will improve connectivity for everyone in Northern Ireland and beyond, and will be a key driver of social, economic and environmental wellbeing for the local and wider community. I also welcome the social value element of the contract with Translink and contractors working closely with stakeholders to provide employment and training opportunities.
“This project will therefore bring both immediate and long-term benefits for the entire region. I look forward to commencement of the main works and wish all our partners every success as we jointly deliver this key scheme for Northern Ireland.”
Chris Conway, Translink Group Chief Executive, explained the benefits the Transport Hub will bring to Northern Ireland: “This is the next progressive step in our journey to transform public transport, and we are looking forward to getting the main works underway. This hugely important project will deliver an impressive integrated transport facility delivering top-class customer experience including enhanced cross border connectivity. It will be a major transport gateway for NI, creating a sense of arrival for a modern, progressive region.
“We expect construction on the new facility to take around 4 years to complete. During this time over 500 jobs will be created, and the scheme overall will be a major boost to the construction and engineering sector in Northern Ireland.
“Translink is also committed to delivering the social benefits from this project and we are working closely with Belfast City Council and local community partners to provide local employment opportunities.
“We are grateful to the local community in south and west Belfast for the positive way they have engaged with Translink as this project has evolved. We have built strong links with local residents, businesses, city stakeholders and political representatives for this scheme and we will continue to engage with them in partnership with our contractors throughout 2022 and beyond.” Chris concluded.