IN PICTURES: Plan to raze one of Belfast’s main train stations to the ground

A plan has been put forward to totally demolish one of Belfast’s main train stations.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 12:07 am
The new proposed station

Yorkgate, on the northern side of the city centre, would then be completely re-built from the ground up, whilst the land surrounding it will be re-designed – something which will involve removing much of the hill upon which the building sits.

Alongside Central Station (recently renamed Lanyon Place) and Great Victoria Street, York gate is one of the city’s three large-scale train stations, with an indoor waiting area, toilets and ticket office.

The station and its land are run by Translink, and the whole project will be publicly funded – though the planning documents give no estimate of how much this will cost.

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The station as it looks at the minute

The current station was built about 30 years ago, and by Translink’s own admission, parts of it are “in a state of disrepair”.

It caters to about 482,000 passenger journeys per year (according to the latest pre-Covid figures from 2018/19) – and the aim is to grow this by 25% by 2027.

The proposals to re-construct it will come before Belfast City Council’s planning committee on Tuesday.

The blueprints form just part of a wider strategy for the whole area, which will ultimately involve completely re-designing the nearby motorway system to improve congestion in and out of Belfast.

The new proposed station

“In terms of design, the proposed station building is of a high standard,” says the planning report into the proposals, which recommends that they be approved.

“It improves general access arrangements while giving the building increased presence.

“The proposal includes significant improvements to the public realm, including wider footpaths, seating areas, green spaces and improvements to the Whitla Street underpass in the form of upgraded lighting and painting of walls.

“Furthermore, the proposal includes a community garden, which is welcomed and will result in wider community benefits.”

The new proposed station

Around 80 cycle parking spaces are proposed adjacent to the main station building, too. Translink estimates that the project will employ around 80 people.

It further says that the new station will “help regenerate this part of the city while providing enhanced connections to the new Ulster University campus”.

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