A significant award of €23.5 million from the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme has been announced today by the Special EU Programmes Body. The funding is for the creation of an iconic new multi-modal transport hub for the North West that will increase the number of people using public transport for cross-border travel.
The project will involve the refurbishment of the existing Waterside Station in Londonderry into a multi-modal hub with a new train terminus. The hub will contain bus stands, a ‘park and ride’ facility, a passenger waiting area, retail units and a community space.
The project has been designed to improve connectivity in the North West through the development of coordinated cross-border bus and rail services operating between Derry and Ballybofey, Carndonagh, Greencastle and Letterkenny as well as private services operating between Derry and Cockhill, Greencastle, Moville and Galway.
It will also support ‘active’ cross-border travel through the provision of bicycle parking, bicycle hire and repair services, lockers and changing facilities for cyclists as well as a new greenway link that will connect the new transport hub to the existing Urban Greenway Network.
The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) is the Lead Partner for the delivery of the project alongside a number of other project partners including Translink, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Sustrans, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, and Donegal County Council.
The Department of Infrastructure will invest a further €8,743,160//£7,409,457 in completing the overall construction of the project.
Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in Ireland.
Translink Group Chief Executive Chris Conway said:
“Translink welcomes this funding announcement and would like to thank the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme for investing in this major new facility that will transform travel and heritage regeneration in the region.
“This Hub will be an important gateway to the North-West encouraging a modal shift from car to public transport and other sustainable modes providing integrated and convenient services that encourage more active travel for a healthier region.
“We’re committed to making public transport Your First Choice for Travel in Northern Ireland and this announcement follows other recent investment in the North West including the launch of Foyle Metro – the city’s new bus service; the introduction of a new hourly train service between Derry~Londonderry and Belfast and we’ve further plans to introduce new Goldline coaches in the Autumn.
“By enhancing the overall connectivity of the region, we’re helping to build a strong economy, supporting education, tourism, health, the environment and building a more inclusive society,” said Chris.
The Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Shane Ross T.D. welcomed the announcement of funding for this very important project. He stated:
“This project will provide an impetus and focus for sustainable transport in the North West of this island. We all need to make greater use of public and sustainable transport modes and this new Hub will greatly assist in that regard. The integration of walking and cycling into the hub is particularly welcome.
“I look forward to seeing progress on this project and the associated Greenways in counties Derry and Donegal in the coming years. It is more important than ever that we continue working on cross-border projects to ensure freedom of movement of the people on this island,” he continued.
DfI Permanent Secretary, Peter May, said: “Increasing the use of public transport and encouraging people to consider active travel options are draft Programme for Government objectives. To achieve this we need to have the right infrastructure in place. I welcome the allocation of EU co-financing for this ambitious project which will consist of new train terminus accommodation, an enhanced park and ride scheme and additional facilities to promote sustainable and active travel options in the region.
“The project builds upon the recently completed Derry/Londonderry to Coleraine rail improvement project – a €57m/£48m investment which also attracted EU funding and has allowed for the introduction of an hourly train service between Belfast and Derry. The transformation of a historic building into one fit for use today and for generations to come also complements the wider regeneration plans in the city,” he continued.
Welcoming the funding announcement, Gina McIntyre CEO of the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), which manages the INTERREG VA Programme, said: “This project will help meet one of the core objectives of the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, which is to support investment in more sustainable transport provision for our growing population. Upon completion the hub will led to greater cross-border connectivity and encourage more people to make ‘active’ journeys, either by foot or on a bicycle.”
Translink's mission is to deliver a transformation in public transport, providing integrated services which connect people, enhance the economy and improve the environment, enabling a thriving Northern Ireland.