Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has welcomed the completion of works at the North-West Transport Hub in Derry during a visit to the site.
The project, planned and delivered by Translink, is a £27m investment, with funding received from the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Additional funding has been provided by the Department for Infrastructure and the Department of Transport in the Republic of Ireland, as well as support from Derry City and Strabane District Council.
Alongside enhanced passenger facilities, passengers can now enjoy the benefits of a new park and ride facility with 100 spaces, including disabled spaces and e-charging points. The new bus turning area makes it easier to drop off and pick up passengers, while those that prefer to walk or cycle can easily use the new Greenway path linking the Hub to Foyle Street Bus Station and the city centre via the Peace Bridge. .
The Minister for Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon MLA, said: “I am delighted to be in Derry today to mark the completion of works on this innovative project.
“I have been clear that my priority is addressing regional imbalance and better connecting communities and I am committed to delivering cleaner, greener, sustainable infrastructure. I want to see an increase in the use of public transport and encourage more people to consider active travel options. To do that successfully we need to invest in the right infrastructure and facilities – the North West Hub is an excellent example of that.
“The Transport Hub, which has been co-financed by the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, is designed to act as a gateway to the North-West region, as well as promoting active and sustainable travel, bringing together a wide range of transport modes and providing enhanced customer and staff facilities. It will also allow for improved co-ordination between rail and local and cross-border bus services, as well as a Greenway link to the city centre and Foyle Street Bus Centre via the iconic Peace Bridge.
“Investing in rail connectivity is key to delivering greener and cleaner transport but it also opens up opportunities for connectivity and economic growth. The completion of works on this exciting project will offer further opportunities to drive continued growth in passenger numbers on the Derry line and exploit the tourism and economic potential of rail in the North-West.”
The Minister of Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, said: ‘‘I’m delighted that works are now complete at the North-West Transport Hub. Although we are currently asking people to restrict their movements to tackle Covid-19, we must continue to develop our transport system in a sustainable way. When circumstances allow, this integrated transport hub will play an important role in facilitating cross-border connectivity through improved public transport. It will also play a key role as an active travel centre for the network of greenways planned for the North-West.”
Chris Conway, Translink Group Chief Executive, said: ‘‘The North-West Transport Hub is a valuable asset for the city, and I am delighted that work has now completed. This major project represents a significant milestone in the future of both Derry~Londonderry and public transport, and demonstrates how bus and rail travel, along with walking and cycling, are fundamental to supporting a healthy, sustainable and responsible recovery from the pandemic.
‘‘I would like to thank our funders for their support and essential funding to deliver this major project, and to acknowledge the work of the Translink project team and our construction partners Farrans. I would also like to thank the community and commuters of the North-West for their support and patience and look forward to seeing many more of you travelling with us as we come through this pandemic.”
Gina McIntyre, Chief Executive of SEUPB, said: “This cross-border, multi-modal transport initiative is one of the largest projects supported under the sustainable transport objective of the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme and has a huge level of significance for us, because of the contribution it will make in climate protection and the well-being of our citizens.
“It will help to reduce greenhouse and carbon emissions, by encouraging more people to leave their cars behind and use a more sustainable form of transport. This reflects larger European policy, as part of the Green deal, which seeks a 90% reduction of these harmful gasses by 2050.
“This project will also be an important part of the ‘green recovery’ as we start to emerge and rebuild from the damage caused by the ongoing pandemic. I am delighted to see the progress that has been made on this fantastic initiative to date and look forward to a more formal launch when it is safe to do so next year.”
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Brian Tierney, said: ‘‘I am delighted that work on the-North West Transport Hub is completed. This project is a key catalyst project for the North-West region, that provides a gateway to and from the area.
‘‘It remains one of key objectives of our region’s Strategic Inclusive Growth Plan and ties in with our aims to encourage a modal shift to encourage more active and sustainable travel options for a healthier lifestyle.
‘‘The Hub will continue to act as a catalyst and economic driver for development and investment in the Waterside area of the city and is an excellent example of a successful joint partnership approach to supporting business, leisure and tourism across the city and district and wider region.
‘‘On behalf of Council, I want to extend my sincere congratulations to everyone involved in getting this project over the line and look forward to seeing the transformative role it will play in the everyday lives of the people of this region.”