Queen’s Island setting direction for sustainable transport in city

The Strategic Transport Masterplan will support the delivery of Belfast’s COP26 commitments and future-proof the area’s long-term sustainable development.

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Belfast Harbour and Titanic Quarter Limited have announced the launch of an early consultation for the development of a sustainable Strategic Transport Masterplan for Queen’s Island, Belfast. This landmark infrastructure plan will support the delivery of Belfast’s COP26 commitments and future-proof the area’s long-term sustainable development.

The Strategic Transport Masterplan aims to maximise sustainable travel by increasing use of public transport such as the Glider, the Titanic Quarter rail halt and bus services, whilst also encouraging active travel such as walking and cycling, including the use of Belfast Bikes.

It will also plan the roll out of new smart traffic technology, as well as propose upgraded road junctions to improve travel to and from the area. Work has already commenced on a £3 million programme of investment in cycle, pedestrian and road infrastructure to be completed in early 2022. The overall aim is to reduce emissions, and encourage ‘modal shift’ from car use to active and public transport to promote future sustainable development across Queen’s Island. Promoting health and wellbeing for those that live, work, visit and stay in Queen’s Island.

Citizens and visitors to Belfast and Queen’s Island are being asked to inform the plan by completing a survey about their journeys and travel preferences to and from Titanic Quarter, Odyssey and Catalyst. Set to be delivered in association with Belfast City Council and the Department for Infrastructure, the new Strategic Transport Masterplan will promote the delivery of a shared vision for Queen’s Island to grow as an iconic sustainable waterfront destination.

James Eyre, from Titanic Quarter Limited said: “Together with Belfast Harbour, we are delighted to launch this early consultation for the development of a new Strategic Transport Masterplan for Queen’s Island. We are inviting people who live, work, and visit the area to play their part by helping to plan their future journeys, and share on ideas on how we can encourage greater uptake of sustainable and active travel measures to reduce emissions and improve the overall vibrancy and well-being of this part of the city.”

“We are leading the way in sustainable development in Northern Ireland. In the last decade, Queen’s Island has become a thriving district contributing £726m GVA. By 2035, through the provision of a new comprehensive sustainable transport strategy, the Queen’s Island development team will seek to double economic and quadruple social value benefits, whilst maintaining carbon emissions at 2021 levels, or below.”

Joe O’Neill, from Belfast Harbour said: “COP26 kick-started a number of challenging, but necessary, conversations worldwide on the need for immediate climate action. We want to ensure travel to and from Queen’s Island becomes even more sustainable, reflecting our focus on sustainable construction and development pioneered in this part of the city. We acknowledge sustainability not only as a stimuli to deliver strategic development but an urgent requirement to do more to transform Belfast into progressive, greener and smart city in its own right.”

By introducing more active travel alternatives for Queen’s Island employees, visitors and residents, the Strategic Transport Masterplan will support the health and well-being of all users to increase its current social value generation of £104 million to £429 million from 2035. This will be generated by providing new employment opportunities, additional apprenticeships, and increasing the existing 1,000 residents to 8,800 residents living in high quality housing at Queen’s Island.

The Strategic Transport Masterplan will align investment with the principles of sustainable development and will inform decisions on future planning applications establishing a wider context for individual transport assessment and aligning planned developments with commitments within the transport masterplan.

The early consultation for the Strategic Transport Masterplan invites people with an interest in Queen’s Island to share their feedback, experiences and ideas by completing a short survey available at www.queensislandtransport.com. The closing date for survey responses is 24 December 2021. Further consultation on a Strategic Transport Masterplan document will be undertaken in early 2022.