Belfast takes on titanic challenge of modal shift

 

Exciting things are happening in Belfast these days. As the city increasingly becomes a ‘must visit’ destination, Belfast is moving ahead with developing active and sustainable transport on a broad front.

Impetus has been provided with the region’s draft Programme for Government (PfG), which places sustainable travel at centre stage with the key objective of increasing the number of journeys made by walking, cycling and public transport.

”Local

One of the Northern Ireland Executive’s flagship projects is Belfast Rapid Transit (the ‘Glider’, pictured) which is due to enter service in September 2018. Ten years in the gestation, this innovative and ambitious project will create a new and dynamic public transport system in the city – providing people with better access to jobs, hospitals, shops, schools, colleges, and entertainment.

Glider will offer a modern, comfortable environment for passengers in terms of space, security and on-board information. It will incorporate high quality halts with easy access to vehicles, real time information systems for easier journey planning and off-vehicle ticketing to speed up the boarding process.

Important features will include high standards of reliability with punctual service operation and predictable journey times and excellent integration with other modes of sustainable transport including secure bicycle parking facilities at key halts.

As well as providing services connecting east and west Belfast, Titanic Quarter and key locations both in the city centre and along the Glider corridors, services will be tailored to meet times of peak demand such as major sporting or entertainment events.

Feeder and complementary services will also be provided with appropriate interchange facilities and co-ordinated timetables. The speed, reliability and comfort of the Glider services will provide an attractive alternative to private car use.

That imperative of modal shift in a city where even the majority of shorter journeys are undertaken by private car is a challenge that has been embraced by both the Northern Ireland Department for Infrastructure and the Belfast City Council.

2017 saw the completion of the Connswater Community Greenway – a six mile linear park connecting the open and green spaces along the Connswater, Knock and Loop Rivers. The Greenway includes 10 miles of walking and cycling paths for everyday journeys and has created vibrant, attractive, safe and accessible parkland for leisure, recreation, community events and activities. It also includes significant flood alleviation measures in the design.

The Department’s Bicycle Strategy was published in August 2015. It sets out the Department’s vision for ‘a community where people have the freedom and confidence to travel by bicycle for everyday journeys’.

Central to this is the three pillar approach of building a comprehensive network for the bicycle, supporting people who choose to travel by bicycle and promoting the bicycle as a mode of transport for everyday journeys. More recently, the Department has extended this vision and approach to encourage more walking.

Over the past two years, there have been real improvements in the Bicycle Network in Belfast. In 2016, dedicated cycle tracks were opened in Arthur Street and Durham – providing dedicated cycle space to connect the city centre with existing shared paths to the south and west of the city. This year, a further dedicated track in Middlepath Street will connect the city centre more directly to the Comber Greenway and the Connswater Community Greenway in the east of the city.

”Local
Victoria Park looking East, part of the Connswater Community Greenway

Three years ago the Department provided the City Council with funding through its Active Travel Demonstration programme for a public bike share scheme. ‘Belfast Bikes’ was launched in April 2015 and its forty docking stations attract over 200,000 bike hires annually. It has proved to be a low-cost convenient way of travelling around the city for residents and visitors alike. A fitting testimony to the city where the pneumatic bicycle tyre was invented 125 years ago!

Another flagship project in Belfast is the Belfast Transport Hub. This aims to develop an integrated transport interchange comprising a station concourse, bus stands, railway platforms, bus maintenance and parking, an active travel hub, public bike hire and a new public square. The objective is to integrate together sustainable modes of travel and link the hub with the emerging Belfast Bicycle Network so that no one will have to consider using the car to make their journey.

These are some of the small steps taken to make sustainable transport the mode of choice in Belfast.

Dr Andrew Grieve is head of the Walking and Cycling Unit in the Department for Infrastructure, 

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Highways Maintenance Manager

Plymouth City Council
£37,107 to £41,846
We are looking for a dynamic Highways Manager to lead and co-ordinate all our maintenance activities Plymouth, Devon
Recuriter: Plymouth City Council

Head of Customs

St Helena
£55k pa, taxable in St Helena; a tax free International Supplement will also apply
Could you lead the HMCE team to efficiently implement the Customs & Excise Ordinance in border protection Saint Helena (SH)
Recuriter: St Helena

Neighbourhood Services Operations Manager

East Lindsey District Council
£30,756 - £35,229 per annum (Grade 7)
This is an exciting opportunity to oversee the delivery of the cleansing and grounds maintenance function in one of the largest Districts of the UK Manby, Louth
Recuriter: East Lindsey District Council

Assistant Highways Officer (North & South Kesteven)

Lincolnshire County Council
£19,819 - £22,401
Lincolnshire County Council is looking to recruit an Assistant Highways Officer to support the Local Highways Management Team Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Chief Executive

Sutton London Borough Council
Competitive Salary
We believe that such important agendas require exemplary leadership. Sutton, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Sutton London Borough Council

Project Engineers

North Yorkshire County Council
£24,313 to £34,788, dependent upon experience.
We are looking for Project Engineers to join our Highways and Transportation service based across North Yorkshire. North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Improvement/Maintenance Managers

North Yorkshire County Council
£46,503, subject to pay award agreement
Are you an experienced professional looking for a management opportunity? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Engineering opportunities

North Yorkshire County Council
Ranging from £24,313 up to £34,788
Are you a qualified engineer starting out on your career? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Heritage Environment Officer

East Lindsey District Council
£30,756 - £35,229 per annum (Grade 7)
This is an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic and motivated Heritage Environment Officer to join the Council Manby, Louth
Recuriter: East Lindsey District Council

Senior Project Engineer (Highways Laboratory Services Manager)

Derbyshire County Council
Grade 13 £39,867 - £43,282 per annum
Derbyshire County Council are looking for an enthusiastic, enterprising and experienced laboratory Manager Derbyshire
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Head of Policy

National Parks England
£36,153 - £39,961 pa, pro rata (£28.9k for 28 hours per week)
Help us ensure that England’s National Parks remain a national treasure. London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: National Parks England

Urban Traffic Control Engineer

Transport for Greater Manchester
£26,240.00 - £37,369.00 Per Annum
Have you ever thought about who runs the traffic signals in Greater Manchester? Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Transport for Greater Manchester

Environmental Health Officer/Graduate Environmental Health Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£32,473 - £41,657
Make it work for you. Make it your Camden.  Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Process Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£28,910 - £33,531
Make it work for you. Make it your Camden.  Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Parking Asset Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£28,910 - £33,531
We are seeking an Asset Officer who will be responsible for ensuring all on-street parking Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Waste Services Loader

East Lindsey District Council
£16,880 - 17,681 per annum (Grade 2)
An exciting opportunity has become available to join the Council's Waste Services department in the role of a Waste Loader Louth, Lincolnshire
Recuriter: East Lindsey District Council

Food Safety Environmental Health Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£35,913 - £41,657
As an Environmental Health Officer within Environmental Health, Business and Consumer Services your focus will be food safety issues. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Deputy Head of Service – Street Services

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£52,494 - £55,569
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Deputy Head of Service Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

ECONOMIC PROJECTS OFFICER

Melton Borough Council
Salary £23,866 to £33,136 per annum
We are looking for an ambitious and proactive person enthusiastic about regeneration, town centre and development projects Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire,
Recuriter: Melton Borough Council

Environmental Crime Officer

East Lindsey District Council
£19,446 - £22,401 per annum (Grade 4)
We are looking for 2 people to join our Enforcement Team to perform a new innovative role at an exciting time within the department. Manby, Louth
Recuriter: East Lindsey District Council