Agenda item


            The Chairperson welcomed Mr. C. Robinson, Belfast Rapid Transit, Phase 2 (BRT2) Programme Manager, and Mr. M. Fox, BRT2 Senior Project Engineer, from the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) to the meeting.


            Mr. Fox thanked the Committee for inviting representation from DfI to the meeting to discuss the Public Consultation for the BRT2 Programme.


            He reported that the upcoming milestone in delivering the programme was to develop an outline business case in order to demonstrate if it would deliver value for money.  He stated that that identifying a preferred route for the system was the next step and a public and stakeholder consultation was required as part of that process.  He outlined the process undertaken to arrive at a short list of routes for consideration, and he explained the rationale as to why particular options passed the long list assessment and others did not. 


            He highlighted that consideration had been given to how the services would route through the city centre and that the assessment had concluded that the options for a potential Antrim Road route and a Shore Road route could be taken forward to service north Belfast.  He added that a number of options had also been considered to service south Belfast and that the connection to Ormeau Road and the connection to Ravenhill Road were the two options that had passed the long list assessment.


            He pointed out to the Members that the proposal to extend the Glider network included an extension of the G2 service to link with Belfast City Hospital and Queen’s University, and that only one option had passed the long list assessment, a clockwise route from Dublin Road, to facilitate access to Queen’s University via University Road, connecting to Belfast City Hospital on Lisburn Road, by way of Elmwood Avenue.


            He referred to the more detailed criteria which had been used to conduct a short list assessment, such as catchment analysis to identify measures of social deprivation in the area, key attractors and levels of car ownership in the area.


            He reported that the short list assessment had further discounted a number of options, including Crumlin Road and Ravenhill Road and that, on completion of the shortlisting process, three options had been identified for public consultation and engagement, to link north and south Belfast:


1.      O’Neill Road via Antrim Road to Cairnshill;

2.      Longwood Road via Shore Road to Cairnshill; and

3.      O’Neill Road via Shore Road to Cairnshill.




            He stated that the public consultation period was from 26th July to 4th October, and that a virtual approach had been undertaken, to engage as widely as possible, by developing a bespoke digital platform containing all of the public consultation material, with a facility to leave feedback.  A freephone voicemail number had also been created as an alternative, where comments could be made, questions asked, and hard copy information material could be requested.


            He further added that the public consultation was being promoted on social media platforms and in the local press and that a number of engagement events and webinars would be held during the consultation period.


            Following a number of questions from the Members, Mr. Robinson stated that the consultation was focussed on the corridors and that, once a route had been identified, the project would move to the detailed design phase, following which a more comprehensive consultation would be carried out with the people who live and work along the route.  He also addressed concerns with regard to Glengormley.  He stated that, logistically and geographically, it posed a huge challenge and that it was not considered a viable option for a Glider.


            He further added that, with regard to concerns around  the city centre, a meeting had been scheduled between DfI, Council officers and Bolder Vision consultants to try to achieve a balance between accessibility and the look and feel of the city centre and that it would remain as part of the overall consultation process.


            Following further discussion, the Committee thanked Mr. Robinson and Mr. Fox for their presentation and they retired from the meeting.


            The Director of City and Regeneration Development drew the Members attention to the associated report and the proposed mechanism for providing the Council’s response to the public consultation.  She pointed out that, given the timeframes of the BRT2 Public Consultation, it was proposed the Council consultation response would be brought to the Party Group Leaders Consultative Forum prior to submission on 4th October and that the consultation response would be submitted, subject to Committee approval on 13th October and Council ratification on 1st November.


            The Committee agreed to:


·        Note the information provided within the presentation and associated report on the emerging preferred routes for Belfast Rapid Transport Phase 2;

·        Note the timelines of the ongoing BRT2 Public Consultation; and

·        Note the Council’s proposed mechanism for providing the Councils response to the Public Consultation.


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