Belfast Rapid Transit - Glider - latest news

The implementation of Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT) started in 2014 and was progressed as a series of schemes which are outlined below. The BRT Glider services started on 3 September 2018.

 

Belfast Rapid Transit project secures European funding

ERDF Logo

The Department has been successful in securing €17 million of European funding for the Belfast Rapid Transit project. This project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, through the Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme for Northern Ireland 2014-2020. The funding will contribute to three main areas of the project: the Milewater Service Centre where the Glider vehicles will be stabled and maintained; the new Glider off-board ticketing system; and the new Glider halts.

Works currently underway

Colin Town Centre Transport Hub and Public Square

  • Start date:  4 September 2017
  • Scheduled completion date:  November 2018
  • Nature of works:

Construction of a Transport Hub building and adjacent Public Square, supported by the Executive Office’s Urban Villages programme. The Transport Hub building will include a waiting area for Glider passengers, information, public toilets and driver facilities and will be the interchange point between the main Glider services and the feeder services for the Colin area. It will also include community space and, along with the adjacent public square, will be used for various community events.

Colin Town Centre Transport Hub

Works completed 

Dundonald Park & Ride

  • Location:  Dunlady Road near the junction with Upper Newtownards Road
  • Start date:  12 May 2014
  • Completion date:  30 November 2014
  • Opening Date:  1 December 2014

DRD Minister, Danny Kennedy MLA opens Dundonald Park and Ride facility
DRD Minister, Danny Kennedy MLA opens Dundonald Park and Ride facility
The 520 space Dundonald Park & Ride site was officially opened by Transport Minister, Danny Kennedy MLA on 1 December 2014. Dundonald Park & Ride will form a key part of the BRT system. Prior to the commencement of Glider services in September 2018, it is being served by a new dedicated limited stop Metro 4X service during peak hours and by existing Translink Ulsterbus services at other times. The dedicated Metro service uses new environmentally friendly Euro six double-deck vehicles. Secure bicycle parking facilities are also provided.

For more information on the bus service to and from Dundonald Park & Ride site please visit Translink's website:

Press Release (28 November 2014): 

Upper Newtownards Road between Sandown Road and Knock Road

  • Start date:  23 June 2014
  • Completion date:  27 March 2015
  • Works carried out:    

Minor carriageway widening and drainage system enhancements which facilitated the introduction of BRT bus lanes in both directions. Resurfacing of almost 1km of carriageway and adjoining footways. Three existing pedestrian crossings upgraded to Puffin crossings and one new Puffin pedestrian crossing provided near Ormiston Crescent.  Street lighting and traffic signal equipment upgraded to energy efficient LED along entire section.

Falls Road between Grosvenor Road and Whiterock Road

  • Start date:  8 September 2014
  • Completion date: 30 October 2015
  • Works carried out:    

Minor carriageway widening and drainage system improvements which enabled the extension of BRT bus lanes in both directions. Resurfacing of almost 1.4km of carriageway and adjoining footways. All existing pedestrian crossings upgraded to Puffin crossings. Street lighting and traffic signal equipment upgraded to energy efficient LED along the entire section. 

Upper Newtownards Road between Albertbridge Road and Sandown Road

  • Start date:  15 June 2015
  • Completion date:  27 May 2016
  • Works carried out:    

Minor carriageway widening and drainage system improvements which enabled the extension of BRT bus lanes in both directions. Resurfacing of 1.2km of carriageway and adjoining footways. Improvements to the traffic signals and pedestrian crossings at the Holywood Road, North Road and Sandown Road junctions. Upgrade of all existing pedestrian crossings and provision of an additional pedestrian crossing near Ebrington Gardens. Upgrade of street lighting to LED along the entire section.

Divis Street/Falls Road between Millfield and Grosvenor Road

  • Start date:  12 October 2015
  • Completion date:  28 February 2017
  • Works carried out: 

Minor carriageway widening and drainage system improvements. Resurfacing of 1.4km of carriageway and adjoining footways. Improvements to the traffic signals and pedestrian crossings at the junctions along the route. Upgrade of all existing pedestrian crossings and provision of an additional pedestrian crossing near Townsend Street. Upgrade of street lighting to LED along the entire section.

The new bus lanes on this section of the BRT route were introduced on 13 February 2017.

Andersonstown Road/Stewartstown Road between Finaghy Road North and Michael Ferguson Roundabout

  • Start date:  25 January 2016
  • Completion date:  14 April 2017
  • Works carried out:

Carriageway widening and drainage system improvements. The new inbound bus lane was introduced on 17 April 2017. Resurfacing of 1.8km of carriageway and adjoining footways. Improvements to the traffic signals and pedestrian crossings at the Suffolk Road, Blacks Road and Finaghy Road North junctions and provision of a new signalised junction at Shaw’s Road. Upgrade of all existing pedestrian crossings. Upgrade of street lighting to LED along the entire section.

Albertbridge Road between Castlereagh Street and Newtownards Road

  • Start date:  29 August 2016
  • Completion date:  13 August 2017
  • Works carried out:

Minor carriageway widening and drainage system improvements. Resurfacing of 0.9km of carriageway and adjoining footways. Improvements to the traffic signals and pedestrian crossings at the junctions along the route. Upgrade of all existing pedestrian crossings. Upgrade of street lighting to LED along the entire section.

The new bus lanes on this section of the BRT route were introduced on 14 August 2017.

Stewartstown Road between Michael Ferguson Roundabout and McKinstry Road Roundabout

  • Start date:  28 June 2017
  • Completion date:  29 June 2018
  • Works carried out:

Minor carriageway widening and drainage system improvements to enable the introduction of an inbound BRT bus lane. Resurfacing of approximately 2.1km of carriageway and adjoining footways. Upgrade of all existing pedestrian crossings and provision of an additional pedestrian crossing near Michael Ferguson Roundabout. Upgrade of street lighting to LED along the entire section.

Falls Road/Andersonstown Road between Whiterock Road and Finaghy Road North

  • Start date:  20 February 2017
  • Completion date:  29 June 2018
  • Works carried out:

Minor carriageway widening and drainage system improvements to enable the extension of BRT bus lanes in both directions. Resurfacing of approximately 2.8km of carriageway and adjoining footways. Signalisation of the existing roundabouts at Falls Road/Whiterock Road and Andersonstown Road/Kennedy Way junctions. Upgrade of all existing pedestrian crossings and provision of an additional pedestrian crossing in the vicinity of Falls Park. Upgrade of street lighting to LED along the entire section.

CITI route including the city centre

  • Start date:  4 September 2017
  • Completion date:  24 August 2018
  • Works carried out:

Minor carriageway widening and drainage system improvements to enable the introduction of BRT bus lane services. Resurfacing of carriageways and adjoining footways. Upgrade of existing pedestrian crossings and signalised junctions and provision of additional pedestrian crossing facilities where required. Installation of new Glider halts.

Upper Newtownards Road between Knock Road and Dunlady Road, Dundonald

  • Start date:  5 June 2017
  • Completion date: 24 August 2018
  • Works carried out:

Minor carriageway widening and drainage system improvements to enable the extension of BRT bus lanes in both directions. Resurfacing of approximately 3.5km of carriageway and adjoining footways. Improvements to the traffic signals and pedestrian crossings at all the junctions along the route, including introduction of dedicated right turn lanes at the Stoney Road and Comber Road junctions. Upgrade of all existing pedestrian crossings and provision of an additional pedestrian crossing near Rosepark. Upgrade of street lighting to LED along the entire section.

Archived news and press releases

As the Department’s proposals for BRT have developed and the implementation has started, a number of key events have taken place and press releases have been issued. These are outlined below by way of a timeline of the project.

BRT Bus Lane Legislation

The Department advertised 2 Traffic Regulation Orders in December 2017 – The Bus Lanes (Belfast City Centre) Order (Northern Ireland) 2018 and The Bus Lanes (Belfast Rapid Transit, East and West Corridors) Order 2018.

Both of these consultations closed on 12 January 2018.

Belfast Rapid Transit Glider vehicle on view

BRT - Glider logo The new Glider vehicle was available for public viewing in Custom House Square on 13 and 14 December 2017.

New Belfast Rapid Transit Glider vehicle unveiled

The new Glider vehicle was unveiled on 19 October 2017 at the Busworld Europe exhibition in Belgium.

The new Glider service will come into operation in September 2018 and is set to transform public transport in Belfast. It will offer passengers a modern, efficient public transport service with shorter, more reliable journey times and high frequency services.  

The Department issued a press release on 19 October 2017. Full details are available New Glider vehicle unveiled.

New Bus lane in East Belfast

The Department issued a press release on 7 August 2017. Full details are available New Bus lane in East Belfast.

New Bus lane in West Belfast

The Department issued a press release on 11 April 2017. Full details are available New bus lane in West Belfast.

Belfast Rapid Transit – Informal Consultation – BRT bus lanes, 6 March – 17 April 2017

The Department sought views on its proposals for the operating hours of the BRT bus lanes and associated changes to waiting restrictions.

The online informal consultation documentation, included general information on the BRT system and its benefits, details of the Department’s proposals and a short questionnaire.

The views expressed in response to the informal consultation are being used to develop the final proposals for the formal legislative process. This process will involve public consultation.

Public Information Event – CITI Route, 9 and 10 March 2017

This Public Information Event provided details of the BRT CITI route which will connect the route in East Belfast and the route in West Belfast to the city centre and Titanic Quarter.

Transport Minister seeks views on the operation of the Belfast Rapid Transit bus lanes

The Department issued a Press Release on 24 January 2017. Full details are available Minister seeks views on BRT Bus lanes.

Transport Minister joins St Mary's Primary School pupils to plant trees on Divis Street

Pupils at St Mary’s Primary School in West Belfast have joined forces with Transport Minister Chris Hazzard to plant trees to enhance the environment around their school as part of the Department for Infrastructure’s Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT) project. Read more......

Minister joins St Mary’s Primary School pupils to plant trees on Divis Street

Public Information Event – Stewartstown Road
3 & 7 November 2016

This Public Information Event provided details of the section of the BRT route on the Stewartstown Road between Michael Ferguson roundabout and McKinstry Road roundabout and the new Transport Hub and Public Square at Colin town centre.

Public Information event – Upper Newtownards Road

22 and 23 September 2016

This public information event provided details of the section of the Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT) route on the Upper Newtownards Road between Knock Road and Dunlady Road.

New Bus lanes in East Belfast

The new bus lanes, located on the Upper Newtownards Road between Holywood Arches and Sandown Road, were introduced on Monday 27 June. They operate, city-bound and country-bound, during peak hours only, from 7.30am to 9.30am and from 3.30pm to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Further details are available via the Press Release.

Public Information event - Falls Road/Andersonstown Road

11 and 12 February 2016

This public information event provided details of the section of the BRT route on the Falls Road and Andersonstown Road between Whiterock Road and Finaghy Road North.

Press release

26 January 2016

McIlveen announces £19 million contract award for Belfast Rapid Transit

Belfast rapid Transit contract announcement
Transport Minister Michelle McIlveen pictured with (from left to right) Jan Van Hool of Belgian-based company Van Hool, John Marks from Road Trucks Ltd and Chris Conway, Group Chief Executive from operators Translink
Transport Minister Michelle McIlveen has announced the award of a £19 million contract to supply a fleet of 30 vehicles for the new Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT) system.

Transport Minister visits BRT works

Transport Minister Michelle McIlveen visits Belfast Rapid Transit works
Michelle McIlveen and Robin Totten
On 19 November Transport Minister, Michelle McIlveen, pictured with TransportNI Project Manager Robin Totten, has visited a number of sites on the Belfast Rapid Transit network to inspect the progress of the £90m Northern Ireland Executive funded transformational public transport project, and has said:

“I am committed to advancing the delivery of the Belfast Rapid Transit system which, as part of the Executive’s Programme for Government, is set to transform public transport in Belfast. The developing infrastructure associated with the scheme such as the new Park and Ride site at Dundonald, improvements to roads, footways, lighting, drainage and pedestrian crossings along the routes are already providing early tangible benefits for commuters.” 

Press release

27 October 2015 on Public Records Office website

Public information event – Albertbridge Road

8 and 9 October 2015

This public information event provided details of the section of the BRT route on the Albertbridge Road between the Albert Bridge and Newtownards Road.

Revision to scheduled operational date

16 September 2015

On 16 September 2015 the Department announced a change to the proposed operational date for the BRT system. The system is now scheduled to become operational in August 2018. The potential for delay was set out in the Department’s consultation on the draft budget last November and severe budget pressures remain on the Department and there is no certainty about the position for future years.

The programme for delivery of BRT is complex with multiple workstreams and inter-dependent projects to be delivered. We are continuing to work to address outstanding issues and implement recommendations from a recent independent review of the programme. That review confirmed 2018 is achievable provided key issues are addressed.

The Department briefed the Committee for Regional Development on the revised operational date on 16 September 2015.

It should be stressed that the implementation works for BRT are continuing and will provide benefits for existing public transport users in advance of BRT becoming operational. 

Press release

6 August 2015

Public information event, Falls Road Library, Falls Road

12 and 13 February 2015

This public information event provided details of the section of the BRT route on Divis Street/Falls Road between Millfield and Grosvenor Road.

Press release

28 November 2014  

Public information event, Holywood Arches Library, Holywood Road

25 and 26 September 2014

This public information event provided details of the section of the BRT route on the Upper Newtownards Road between Albertbridge Road and Sandown Road. 

Press release

23 September 2014

Press release

19 May 2014

Public information event, Colin Glen Forest Park Centre, Stewartstown Road

30 and 31 January 2014

This public information event provided details of the section of the BRT route on the Andersonstown Road/Stewartstown Road between Finaghy Road North and Michael Ferguson Roundabout.

Public information event, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, Falls Road

9 and 10 January 2014

This public information event provided details of the section of the BRT route on the Falls Road between Grosvenor Road and Whiterock Road.

Public information event, Ballyhackamore Library, Upper Newtownards Road

28 and 29 November 2013

As the designs for individual sections of the BRT route are completed we are undertaking local public information events at a number of locations along the routes. These events provide an opportunity for local elected representatives, residents and traders to view the proposals and speak to members of the project team. This event provided details of the section of the BRT route on the Upper Newtownards Road between Sandown Road and Knock Road.

Contact

Your views are important to us and comments can be forwarded to us at the Belfast Rapid Transit Team.

 

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