Northern Ireland

Translink seek opinions on Great Victoria Street hub

Translink is consulting the public on proposals for a new transport hub in Belfast city centre.

The planned hub, which is still at the consultation stage, will be at the Europa Buscentre/Great Victoria Street railway station.

The two stations are the busiest in Belfast, with about seven million passengers a year passing through them.

It is expected that figure will rise to 13 million in the next 15 years.

Arup, the global design and engineering firm who restored London's King's Cross station, has been appointed as designers.

The site would cover 20 acres from the stations to the Royal Victoria hospital.

Half of that would be used for an integrated transport hub and the other half would be open to commercial development.

Ciaran Rogan of Translink has invited the public to contribute ideas to aid the design of the new hub.

"There has been railway activity at this landmark site for a very long time," he said.

"We want people to come and tell us their stories and what it's meant to them over the past to see if we can incorporate it into any designs."

Cross-border traffic from the Republic of Ireland is expected to increase as the Enterprise rail service from Belfast to Dublin would move to the new building. Moving the cross-border service from its current base at Belfast Central station would decrease journey times by 10 minutes, it has been estimated.

Mr Rogan believes that the new hub would also bring an economic benefit to Belfast and Northern Ireland.

"We would expect there to be fairly substantial economic regeneration," he said.

"When you build a transport the opportunity is there for it to be a real catalyst of development and we would expect to see a lot of jobs created."

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