It comes after Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd announced the preferred route for the extension of the Glider service. In North Belfast the Glider will go along Clifton Street to Carlisle Circus and along the Antrim Road to Glengormley, while in South Belfast it will go along the Ormeau Road and Saintfield Road to Carryduff.
Subject to funding, it’s estimated the routes could become operational in late 2027.
South Belfast Alliance representatives said the suggested service to Carryduff, which they have long campaigned for, was particularly welcome.
“I am pleased the Minister has recognised Carryduff must be linked to the new north-south service in much the way that Dunmurry and Dundonald are linked to the east-west one,” said Paula Bradshaw MLA.
“As the Carryduff area continues to grow, it is essential it is served by an increasing number of public transport options to get to the city centre and local amenities. Nevertheless, it is important to recognise residents’ concerns about exactly how this link will be managed, given the reality road infrastructure locally is already under considerable pressure.”
“I know how successful the east-west Glider route has been in promoting more accessible, cleaner and reliable public transport,” added Councillor Michelle Guy.
“Alongside the plans for connected cycle ways and clearly separated cycle lanes, with bike racks at major stations, the north-south Glider route has considerable potential and must be constructed in such a way that it attracts the maximum number of people.”
Meanwhile, North Belfast MLA Nuala McAllister said the decision was long overdue.
“Alongside my colleague Andrew Muir MLA, I met the Infrastructure Minister yesterday and highlighted the need to ensure any major capital plans like the Glider benefit the whole community in North Belfast,” she said.
“In East Belfast prior to the activation of the glider, when enforcement was in place alongside the new bus lanes, ticket sales for Metro services increased by 30 per cent. This shows just how transformative public transport can be, if done right.
“I will continue to put pressure on the Department to ensure the installation comes alongside safe cycle routes with access to the city centre and improvements to Shore Road routes for public transport.”