Academy of Urbanism Congress @ Weavers Cross

Translink recently welcomed delegates from the Academy of Urbanism Congress to Belfast to learn more about the potential of the Belfast Grand Central Station and Weavers Cross site, as well as updating on the company’s ambitions to deliver Net Zero public transport and make our community better connected.

The Academy of Urbanism Congress – an independent organisation focused on policy and management around cities and towns – has been hosted in Belfast this year and centres on the theme of ‘Cities Overcoming Challenges’.  COVID-19, climate change and economic disruption have provided significant challenges for urban areas across the world in recent years, meaning that our cities and towns need to re-adapt and focus on a new reality.

Public transport plays a major in role in revitalising urban areas, helping to connect communities to employment, education, social and retail opportunities, as well as playing a part in relieving our streets of congestion and pollution, helping to make them more people-centred.  Having the correct infrastructure in place is a key attractor to public and other sustainable forms of transport, and Translink was glad to welcome delegates to the Belfast Grand Central Station/Weavers Cross site in Belfast city centre, which will replace existing facilities at Europa and Great Victoria Street, enhancing bus and rail capacity, with the flagship Enterprise service relocating from Lanyon Place station, and delivering around 500 jobs.

The facility will sit at the heart of Weavers Cross, a new city neighbourhood and transport-led regeneration project, and will focus on delivering affordable residential and commercial opportunities, as well as driving the regeneration of this part of the city centre, including via the increase of passenger numbers, the improvement of local communities and the provision of opportunity.

Translink Group Chief Executive Chris Conway also took the opportunity to address delegates to the conference, updating on Translink’s plans to deliver Zero Emission, sustainable transport across Belfast by 2030 and Northern Ireland as a whole by 2040, the roll out of contactless ticketing solutions and the enhancement of NI Railways services, saying ‘‘Transport solutions for urban areas are of critical importance, with sustainable, effective public transport infrastructure helping to reduce pollution and congestion, deliver health, environmental and social benefits and make urban areas more attractive places to live, work, shop and socialise.

‘‘Translink will work with stakeholders across the city to deliver a better connected Belfast, with attractive infrastructure and facilities that will help this vibrant, progressive city go further still.  The climate emergency means there is no more time to lose in delivering the greener future that Belfast deserves, and Translink will continue to play a leading role in delivering a Net Zero, people-focused city.’’