Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has provided an update on next steps for the York Street Interchange scheme in Belfast by announcing the terms of reference for a new review that will consider how best to proceed, in advance of moving to the procurement phase of the project through discussions with specialists and stakeholders.
The review will look at wellbeing, sustainable travel, creating thriving liveable places and communities, responding to the climate emergency and connecting people and opportunities, the Executive’s priorities set out in New Decade: New Approach and the Outcomes Delivery Plan, and the scheme’s strategic fit alongside the emerging policy context, for example, the Belfast Agenda, the Belfast City Council Development Plan Strategy and the emerging Transport Plans.
Minister Mallon said:
“I recognise the strategic importance of the York Street Interchange. Its inclusion in the New Decade New Approach Agreement is a further indication of the significance of the project to our economic and societal wellbeing and I am determined to see it delivered.
“In advance of the next stage of the scheme, and in line with good practice in relation to the development of major transport projects, I have commissioned a short, sharp external review designed to ensure an approach to the scheme that is future-proofed and forward looking. This will be informed by stakeholders and specialists to ensure that any scheme is fit for purpose.
"I am conscious that much of the development work was carried out several years ago and am keen to ensure that the scheme we move to procure is one capable not only of connecting people to opportunities but also of promoting sustainable travel, improving road safety and enhancing the north end of the city centre in a way that can benefit not only those who rely on the road but also those who live and work close to it. Designing and developing our communities means meeting the needs of all of our community and our wider environment now and for future generations."
Notes to editors:
- York Street Interchange is a major junction at the Westlink / York Street and is an identified bottleneck on the Strategic Road Network where traffic flows on the strategic Westlink, M2 and M3 road network conflict with local traffic movements in and out of Belfast’s City Centre on York Street and Nelson Street.
- An overview of the current scheme including the terms of reference for the review that the Minister has now commissioned is available on the Department’s website at: https://www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/articles/york-street-interchange-overview
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