Agenda item

Cathy Reynolds and Callie Persic to Present


The Director of City Region and Development and the Development Manager provided the Committee with an update on the Eastern Transport Plan, including a Bolder Vision for Belfast and the ongoing work being undertaken across the Council in conjunction with stakeholders and Members in relation to connectivity, including active and sustainable travel.  The Director highlighted the fact that in 2020, the Zero-Net Carbon Roadmap had identified that transport was responsible for twenty per cent of the City’s carbon emissions.


The Director provided the Members with an overview of the Eastern Transport Plan (ETP) and its aim to provide a transport vision for the city and the wider local authority area. She highlighted the importance of the ETP in the support of decision making with regard to major capital investment within the metropolitan area, and how it could assist the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) to deliver on its climate obligations contained within the Climate Change Act (Northern Ireland) 2022.


            The Committee was provided with an overview of key aspects contained with the Bolder Vision for Belfast and of the need to adapt to changing demands from city centre occupants and to the provision of better place-based infrastructure to support city centre living. The Director referred to four key elements contained within the Bolder Vision, namely:


1.     Creation of a Civic Spine with a focus on People;


2.     Reimagining the Inner Ring and ending Car Dominance;


3.     The promotion of City Centre Living; and


4.     Embracing the River Lagan and the Waterfront.


            The Senior Manager stated that a final draft of the Bolder Vision had been provided to the August 2022 meeting of the City Growth and Regeneration Committee (CG&R) and was subject to DfI and DfC ministerial sign-off.


            In terms of Connectivity, Active and Sustainable Travel (CAST), the Members were informed that a cross-sector stakeholder sub-group, co-chaired by Sustrans and Translink, had been formed to develop a CAST action plan included as part of the Belfast Agenda consultation process. The Committee was informed of the many positive attributes associated with the delivery of active and sustainable travel, including access to employment, education and tackling climate change. The Members were informed that the Council had been successful in securing funding from DfI’s Blue and Green Infrastructure Fund for the delivery of covered cycle stands, a further step in encouraging the public to consider alternative forms of sustainable transport.


            The Members were informed that an all-party round table on CAST had taken place on 30th August 2023, providing Members with the opportunity to engage with the work undertaken under that programme and highlighting the connections to the Council’s strategic priorities and governance structures.  It was reported that the round table meeting had provided an opportunity for elected members and other participants to discuss and consider the potential impact of the Eastern Transport Plan on a range of strategic and physical regeneration projects.


            In response to concerns by the Committee about the dangers of cycling in the city and the need to separate cycling lanes from both pedestrians and vehicular traffic, the Director stated that DfI would be attending a future meeting of the City Growth and Regeneration Committee and that Members would be given the opportunity to address their concerns to the department directly.


            A Member requested that Translink might wish to consider extending their service to facilitate the night-time economy and was informed that Translink would also be making representation to the City Growth and Regeneration Committee on their proposed extended service arrangements and that the Members would be provided with the opportunity to raise their concerns with Translink directly.




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