Belfast Rapid Transit (Glider) Phase 2

 

Status
Construction scheme (future)
Where
To expand the Glider rapid transit system to the north and south of the city.
Total Length
As yet unknown - circa 12 km (7 miles)
Dates

2018 - Phase 1 of BRT opens (East, West and Titanic Quarter)
2018 - Phase 2 received a funding commitment in the Belfast Region City Deal

Late 2020 - preliminary route options to be published
No date for construction as of Apr 2020 - likely several years away

Cost
70-80m (as of 2018)

Click here to jump straight down to updates for this scheme.

Even before Phase 1 of Glider was launched in September 2018, there was talk within Translink and DFI of a "phase 2". Phase 1 saw an East-West route connecting Colin Town Centre in west Belfast, through the city centre to Dundonald (route G1), along with a shorter route to Titanic Quarter (G2). Phase 2 would see a similar route added north-south.

As of April 2020 DFI have not yet decided on a route, but we can speculate based on some conversations that have taken place:

  • The route will probably share the same city centre loop as the East-West route does.
  • The southern route would almost certainly be along the Ormeau Road and Saintfield Road, perhaps beginning on Cromac Street. An obvious place for the southern terminus is Cairnshill Park-and-Ride.
  • There is a suggestion that the southern route could include some kind of spur/loop to serve Queen's University.
  • The northern route could be along either the Antrim Road or the Shore Road, and there is a bit of political difficulty here, since the former is majority Catholic and the latter majority Protestant.
  • If the northern route used the Antrim Road an obvious route would be to go up Clifton Street to Carlisle Circus (serving the Mater Hospital) and then all the way along Antrim Road to a terminus in or near Glengormley. A park-and-ride near Sandyknowes Roundabout is tempting, though DFI have tried unsuccessfully for some years to find a suitable P&R site there.
  • If the northern route used the Shore Road then a route could go out of the town centre along York Street, York Road and the Shore Road. It could terminate somewhere in Newtownabbey, eg near Rathcoole, the Abbeycentre or perhaps a Park-and-Ride near Greencastle interchange (junction 2) on the M2.

Updates

10 Apr 2020: The scheme was included in the Belfast Region City Deal of 2018, and for this reason DFI are progressing the plans. This doesn't appear to mean that the scheme will definitely go ahead. The DFI Minister explained in February that "...the next stages will require close working across all departments and with the other Belfast Region City Deal partners. The work will include reaching agreement on funding and on which projects are most capable of delivering the City Deal objectives." The first part of the process is to carry out a feasibility study which will identify route options. This will also include cost estimates and cost/benefit analyses and will help to determine whether the scheme will be progressed. DFI have said that this feasibility study is due to be completed before the end of 2020.