Rapid transport system for Belfast

Rapid transport system for Belfast

Postby notjim » Thu Nov 27, 2008 7:25 pm

according to breaking.tcm.ie Belfast is to get a rapid transport line running east to west across the city; obviously a town Belfast's size would probably have a tram system in Europe proper, but the article is vague about what this is, probably a trolley bus:

"Ministers had rejected proposals for a full tram network on cost grounds, with the rapid transit system described as being a “tram on wheels”."

which makes you wonder what they think a tram runs on.



A Titanic-themed tourist attraction and a rapid transit transport system are to be built in Belfast as part of a £250m (€299m) investment announced today.

The £100m (€119.4m) Titanic Signature project will be located on the same site on which the famous White Star Line vessel was built almost 100 years ago by Harland and Wolff shipyard workers.

The £150m (€179.2m) transport route will run from the east to the west of the city and so link two areas traditionally divided on religious grounds.

Stormont ministers gave the go-ahead for the ambitious infrastructure projects during their weekly Executive meeting.

It is hoped the five-storey Titanic centre will be open to the public ahead of the centenary of the boat’s sinking in April 1912.

The Executive is providing half the funding with a range of other stakeholders, including Belfast City Council, contributing the other £50m (€59.7m).

The attraction will also incorporate conference facilities, and is expected to see 800,000 users a year and generate £46m (€55m) annually for the local economy.

The future of the project had been thrown into doubt last year when a bid for lottery funding was turned down.

Work on the rapid transit system is set to get under way in 2011 and one of its stops will be at the new Titanic centre, which is on the east side of Belfast Lough.

It will run from the Milmount in the east to Glenmona in the west and will call at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, Stormont, the City Hall, the Royal Victoria Hospital and a number of other destinations.

Ministers had rejected proposals for a full tram network on cost grounds, with the rapid transit system described as being a “tram on wheels”.
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Re: Rapid transport system for Belfast

Postby lostexpectation » Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:30 am

can they not just call a bus a bus
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Re: Rapid transport system for Belfast

Postby kinsella » Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:28 pm

Belfast simply isn't big enough to have a proper tram system.
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Re: Rapid transport system for Belfast

Postby shanekeane » Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:44 pm

According to wikipedia, Belfast has a population of over 270,000 people and the Belfast Metropolitan Area has a population of over 570,000. Definitely big enough to have a tram network!
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Re: Rapid transport system for Belfast

Postby kinsella » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:16 pm

I mean the city centre. It is very small by city standards. If you take City Hall as being the centre of the city, from this point the city extends only up to half a mile in any direction except possibly South if one includes Queens University as part of the city centre. For a city to have a tram system, for me it has to have a much larger core.
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Re: Rapid transport system for Belfast

Postby shanekeane » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:23 pm

kinsella wrote:I mean the city centre. It is very small by city standards. If you take City Hall as being the centre of the city, from this point the city extends only up to half a mile in any direction except possibly South if one includes Queens University as part of the city centre. For a city to have a tram system, for me it has to have a much larger core.


Well presumably the tram system wouldn't be limited to the core. In fact if Belfast is so spread out then it probably needs a good tram system more.
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Re: Rapid transport system for Belfast

Postby kinsella » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:15 pm

Shane I appreciate what your saying, I can only think that you have never been to Belfast or at least not recently. The problem with the larger metropolitan area of Belfast is that it is divided by motorways. The largest motorway, containing the newly built underpass which was spectacularly and infamously flooded recently, practically bisects the city and lies about 0.5/0.6 of a mile from the city centre. It just wouldn't work city-wide and the remaining area is just too small.
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Re: Rapid transport system for Belfast

Postby shanekeane » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:19 pm

kinsella wrote:Shane I appreciate what your saying, I can only think that you have never been to Belfast or at least not recently. The problem with the larger metropolitan area of Belfast is that it is divided by motorways. The largest motorway, containing the newly built underpass which was spectacularly and infamously flooded recently, practically bisects the city and lies about 0.5/0.6 of a mile from the city centre. It just wouldn't work city-wide and the remaining area is just too small.


Yeah, I was only there once and that was years ago. But I think any city with 100,000 people can support a tram system. I think people in Ireland judge by the example of Dublin and think "oh, well they only have two tram lines, so a much smaller city couldn't support any". But, of course, Dublin is ridiculously underdeveloped in terms of infrastructure. They might wake up when they look at much smaller Belfast with a much better transport network. I happen to think we should be ridding Ireland of cars and buses both inside and outside our cities and replacing them with world class public transport, but that's my utopian dream.
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Re: Rapid transport system for Belfast

Postby notjim » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:56 pm

Belfast is bigger than people realise, 275,000 in the city, 500,000 is the GMA, it is Ireland's second city; cities of this size in Europe proper often, though of course not inevitably, have small tram systems.

Sorry, shanekeane, I see you have already made this point!
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Re: Rapid transport system for Belfast

Postby kinsella » Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:38 pm

I just can't envisage it being cost effective. I agree in principle with the utopian ideals expressed for a city's infrastructure, but this requires vision and a clean sweep approach from the top down (or perhaps down - up). Unfortunately this ain't gonna happen, at least any time soon. In terms of a real world analysis where issues of size and population come into it, Belfast is simply too small to justify a tram system. From where the city centre ends, you would be surprised at how quickly you are in what would be considered suburbia, with the exception of NE, around the dock areas, where industry tends to be. In comparison to Dublin, what distances in miles, does the LUAS cover in any direction or in total?
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Re: Rapid transport system for Belfast

Postby notjim » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:23 am

You keep saying the same thing kinsella but Bilbao has a tram, Montpelier does too. Why should Belfast be so different? You are going to say that Belfast is different because it is less dense, that isn't quite as true as you might think, Bilbao for example is extremely spread out, but beyond this, are we supposed to give up on our cities; are we supposed to say this city is not dense enough for a tram so it can never have one. The fact is Dublin had fabulous spatial planning until the trams were ripped up and it is hard to argue for proper planning again without rail lines to plan around. Belfast is the same.
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