Northern Ireland Planning Service

Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan 2015
Strategic Plan Framework: Transportation: Policies and Proposals

Transportation Policies and Proposals

Policy TRAN 1 Public Transport, Walking and Cycling
Planning permission will only be granted for development proposals which incorporate, where appropriate, adequate provision for public transport, walking and cycling routes, and measures to ensure access by people with impaired mobility to be agreed with the Department.
Public transport, walking and cycling routes within new developments will help to promote realistic alternatives to travelling by private car thereby supporting sustainable development. BMTP proposes a number of measures aimed at providing greater travel choice and promoting journeys by travel modes other than by car.
To complement the proposed measures the Department will require development proposals to incorporate provision for public transport and for walking and cycling routes, including linkages to the main walking and cycle route networks.
The quality of the built environment of new development proposals and the facilities they provide shall take account of the public transport, walking and cycling needs of people with mobility difficulties. New development proposals will be required to incorporate measures such as high quality pedestrian environments to facilitate wheelchair users and easily accessible public transport routes in order to overcome physical barriers that often inhibit people with impaired mobility.
Policy TRAN 2 Planning Protection for Transportation Schemes
Planning permission will not be granted for development that would prejudice the availability of land required for those transportation schemes proposed in the Plan.
The following transportation schemes are proposed and are identified in the District Proposals:
  • New or Relocated Rail Stations
    • provision of new stations at Gamble Street, Grosvenor Road and Tillysburn; and
    • relocation of stations at Jordanstown, Newtownabbey; and Knockmore, Lisburn.
  • Rapid Transit Schemes
    • EWAY;
    • WWAY;
    • CITI-Route City Airport – Titanic Quarter-Route; and
    • SuperRoute.
  • Pedestrian/Cycle Bridges
    • Corporation Street to Queens Quay; and
    • Gasworks to Ormeau Embankment.
  • Park and Ride Sites
    • Cairnshill;
    • Jordanstown;
    • Kennedy Way;
    • Millmount;
    • North Foreshore;
    • Tillysburn;
    • Trooperslane; and
    • West Lisburn.
  • Strategic Road Schemes
    • A2 Sydenham Bypass Widening of the A2 Sydenham Bypass between Tillysburn and M3 Lagan Crossing from a 2 lane dual carriageway to a 3-lane dual carriageway;
    • A55 Outer Ring Road Widening of the A55 Knock Road between Sandown Road and Brooklyn from one lane in each direction to two lanes in each direction;
    • A2 to Carrickfergus Widening of the A2 at Greenisland on the Carrickfergus Transport Corridor from one lane in each direction to two lanes in each direction; and
    • M2 and Sandyknowes Junction Widening of the M2 south from Sandyknowes junction, increasing the current 2 lane motorway on the south bound carriageway to 3 lanes as far as Greencastle where the M2 meets the M5 and widening to 3 lanes the existing 2 lane northbound section of the M2 over the Greencastle flyover.
  • Non-Strategic Road Schemes
    • Bankmore Street Link;
    • Connsbank Link and improved Harbour Estate access (New Junction on the A2)*;
    • Holywood Arches bypass*;
    • Carrickfergus Spine Road including Victoria Road and Sloefield Road*;
    • Quarry Corner – East Link Road;
    • Knockmore – M1 Link*; North Lisburn Feeder Road*;
    • Ballyclare relief Road*; and
    • Hightown Road Link*.
*Developers will be responsible for funding the scheme either in full or in a very substantial part. DRD’s priority for funding will be concentrated on the construction of major capital works schemes on the Strategic Network. Any contribution towards developer-led schemes will be subject to detailed economic appraisal, the availability of funding and inclusion within the Major Works Programme.

New or Relocated Rail Stations

Improving public transport within the Plan Area is a key element of BMTP. As part of a wider objective to increase the catchment area for rail based trips, a number of locations have been identified where new stations, or relocation of existing stations will be provided subject to economic appraisal, funding availability and statutory processes.
It is proposed to provide a new rail station at Tillysburn to serve the Belfast Harbour Estate and City Airport. The Regional Development Strategy (RDS) identifies the need to serve Regional Gateways such as Belfast City Airport by rail.
The assessment of the case for a City Airport rail station identified that its implementation should be very closely linked to that of a rapid transit scheme linking Belfast City Centre with the City Airport via the Harbour Estate. This will enable it to serve the dual functions of providing rail-air and rail-rapid transit interchange. It will also serve the development at Tillysburn known as the D5 Holywood Exchange Development.
The proposed relocation of the Knockmore Station at Lisburn will provide access to the major development area proposed at West Lisburn/Blaris. A Park and Ride facility will be served by this railway halt on the edge of Lisburn.
It is proposed to relocate the station at Jordanstown to the east of the existing station. The proposed relocation will facilitate the provision of an improved pedestrian linkage to the University of Ulster, thus supporting greater use of rail by staff and students.

Rapid Transit Schemes

The introduction of rapid transit schemes is a key element in providing an improved public transport system in the BMA. A network of rapid transit routes has been identified covering the main radial corridors into Belfast City Centre.
EWAY is the first stage of the rapid transit network comprising a bus based transit scheme linking Belfast City Centre to Newtownards and Comber. Three other rapid transit routes are proposed as follows:
  • WWAY providing a route from Belfast City Centre into West Belfast;
  • CITI-Route in the Bangor Transport Corridor linking Belfast City Centre to Belfast City Airport via Titanic Quarter; and
  • SuperRoute linking Belfast City Centre to Cairnshill.
It is recognised that, subject to completion of an agreed masterplan, large scale development may occur in Titanic Quarter within the Plan period. This potential development could lead to the promotion of the CITI-Route as a privately funded rapid transit scheme within the Plan period.

Pedestrian/Cycle Bridges

Two pedestrian/cycle bridges are proposed within Belfast City Centre to serve key activity spines between the east and western sides of the River Lagan. These will improve the connection between the existing riverside walkways and the more strategic sections of the pedestrian network. The pedestrian/cycle bridges will also facilitate greater access to the city centre.

Park and Ride Schemes

Developing Park and Ride facilities in the BMA is a key element of BMTP. These facilities are designed to provide an alternative to using the car for journeys all the way into central urban areas. Encouraging people travelling into central urban areas to use public transport for the final leg of their journey relieves the pressure on congested routes into urban centres.
BMTP identifies local Park and Ride sites with either bus based or rapid transit based Park and Ride services in each MTC. These are supplemented by rail based strategic Park and Ride sites in those MTCs, which have rail routes.
Proposed local Park and Ride sites are identified at Cairnshill, Kennedy Way, Millmount and Tillysburn. A Park and Ride facility is also proposed at North Foreshore.
Each local Park and Ride site is either linked to proposed rapid transit routes or to dedicated Park and Ride bus services with associated priority measures. The Park and Ride site at Millmount is integrated with the proposed EWAY rapid transit scheme. The Park and Ride at Cairnshill will begin by using dedicated bus services and has potential to link to the proposed Super Route rapid transit scheme. The site at Tillysburn will be served by dedicated bus services with the potential to link with the proposed City Airport-Titanic Quarter rapid transit scheme. The site at Kennedy Way will be served by dedicated bus services in conjunction with bus priority measures proposed within BMTP on the M1. The proposed Park and Ride site at North Foreshore will be served by a dedicated Park and Ride bus service.
Strategic Park and Ride schemes proposed are linked to existing or relocated rail stations at Jordanstown, West Lisburn and Trooperslane.
During the Plan period opportunities may arise to enable further Park and Ride sites to be brought forward.

Strategic Road Schemes

The movement of goods to, from and within the Plan Area is a fundamental element of the economy of the Area and the wider Region. Proposed enhancements to the Strategic Highway Network will facilitate safe and efficient long distance movements of people and freight within the Plan Area.
The works on the M1/Westlink, which were the subject of a public inquiry, have commenced. The first phase of works on the M1 between Black’s Road and Stockman’s Lane is complete. The second phase which includes full grade separation at Broadway and Grosvenor Road is expected to start in 2006. Widening of the M1 between Blacks Road and Sprucefield and improved connection between the M1 and A1 are also proposed. However it is expected that implementation of the latter scheme will be outside the Plan period.
Measures proposed will benefit freight transport, building upon the wider commitment of the RTS to improve the Region’s Strategic Highway Network. The measures include improvements to the BMA’s Strategic Road Network with particular emphasis on relieving existing bottlenecks and provision of better access to Regional Gateways and Major Employment Locations.
Other proposed strategic road schemes to be implemented outside the Plan period are set out in BMTP, the Transportation Technical Supplement.

Non-Strategic Road Schemes

The proposed non-strategic road schemes will complement improvements to the Strategic Highway Network. The proposals will provide traffic relief, support environmental improvements in the urban area and support new areas of development giving improved access to employment opportunities.
The transportation schemes as noted above are shown on the District Proposals Maps.
Proposal TRAN 3 Road Scheme Abandonments
The following road schemes, which are no longer to be implemented, are abandoned:-
Belfast
  • Crumlin Road (East)
  • Ormeau Embankment extension to Albertbridge /Short Strand
  • Ormeau Park link, Ormeau Road to Ravenhill
  • Ormeau Road, Cromac Street to Ormeau Bridge
  • Ormeau Road/Saintfield Road, Rosetta to Grahamholm
Newtownabbey
  • Ballyclare Road to Antrim Road
  • Ballyduff Road
  • Beverly Road
  • Cloughfern Route
  • Doagh Road, Monkstown to Manse Road
  • Manse Road/Ballyhenry Road
  • Monkstown Avenue to Shore Road
North Down
  • Gransha Road – Green Road
  • New Bangor Road
Protection will no longer be sought for the road schemes listed above which were identified in previous Area Plans.
Policy TRAN 4 Parking Standards within Areas of Parking Restraint
Within designated Areas of Parking Restraint the provision of parking in association with development proposals shall be in accordance with the following standards:-
Area Residential
No. of spaces per dwelling.
Non-Residential
No. of non-operational spaces per sqm of floorspace
Non-Residential
No. of operational spaces per sqm of floorspace
Belfast City Centre Core 1.0 1 / 300 1 / 930
Belfast City Centre Fringe 1.0 1 / 100 1 / 930
Lisburn City
Centre, Bangor and Carrickfergus Town Centres
1.5 1 / 50 1 / 930
Commercial Nodes on Arterial Routes [outside Belfast City Centre Areas of Parking Restraint (Core & Fringe)] 1.0 1 / 100 1 / 930
Policy TRAN 4 (continued)
  • The above are the normal parking standards that will be applied,
  • Variations from normal standards may be considered in exceptional circumstances and then only if evidence of alternative transport arrangements can be clearly demonstrated.
  • Each application will be considered on its own merits.
BMTP proposes that a policy of demand management be pursued across the BMA as a means of reducing the number of car journeys made during peak periods. The objective is to reduce the need for car borne commuting and promote a shift from car use in peak periods towards other forms of transport.
Demand management will be focused upon controlling the amount of non-operational parking than can be provided within designated Areas of Parking Restraint in city and town centres and in commercial nodes on the Arterial Routes in Belfast.
Within Areas of Parking Restraint the amount of non-operational parking provided with new development will be controlled in order to restrain the availability of long-stay commuter parking.
Limited non-operational parking will be acceptable for non-residential uses within city and town centres and within commercial nodes on the Arterial Routes in Belfastin order to encourage the provision of uses within these areas in line with the Plan Proposals.
Outside Areas of Parking Restraint parking standards will be in accordance with prevailing regional policy.
The details of the designated Areas of Parking Restraint are contained in the relevant District Proposals.
Policy TRAN 5 Publicly owned Off Street Surface Car Parks within City and Town Centres
Planning permission will only be granted for development on publicly owned off-street surface car parks in designated City and Town Centres, provided that all existing car spaces are replaced either on site or in an appropriate location in the vicinity of the site and that the spaces are reserved for short-stay use only.
Ground level car parking in city and town centres can occupy sites with potential value for development for other purposes. Such sites are often in locations where there is pressure for other uses and where it is desirable to have an appropriate form of built development to reinstate the streetscape. Where development of surface car parking is permitted, replacement parking spaces will be controlled for short-stay use only, consistent with the strategy to reduce car borne commuting.The Department will consider proposals which seek to facilitate a number of publicly owned car parks in one location, for example, a multi storey car park replacing a number of surface level car parks.
Development proposals shall be in accordance with Key Site Requirements as set out in relevant District Proposals.
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