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Rapid-Transit Proposals

Regional Development – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 am on 13th October 2008.

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Photo of John O'Dowd John O'Dowd Sinn Féin 3:15 am, 13th October 2008

9. asked the Minister for Regional Development for an update on the rapid-transit proposals.            (AQO 652/09)

Photo of Conor Murphy Conor Murphy Sinn Féin

Good progress has been made since the take-note debate in the House on the strategic outline case for rapid transit on Tuesday 3 June 2008. We have concluded the engagement with key stakeholders. As a result of some concerns that were expressed, we further explored an alternative route for rapid transit in east Belfast. The results of that work have shown that it is not viable to use the Upper Newtownards Road as part of the scheme. We are also establishing a dedicated delivery team for rapid transit and are purchasing land for the scheme. In recognition of the wider benefits of rapid transit, I have also written to my ministerial colleagues, inviting their comments on my proposals.

Photo of William Hay William Hay Speaker

I will allow the Member to ask a quick supplementary question.

Photo of John O'Dowd John O'Dowd Sinn Féin

Has the Minister carried out any assessment of the positive environmental impact that a rapid-transit scheme would have in taking traffic off the roads of Belfast?

Photo of Conor Murphy Conor Murphy Sinn Féin

The purpose of rapid-transit schemes — indeed, of investment in all public transport — is to reduce the number of cars on the roads, thereby reducing the congestion and pollution that traffic causes. Of course, investment in a rapid-transit system is expected to have a positive impact on the environment, and it will certainly have a positive impact on the development of the city of Belfast itself.

Photo of William Hay William Hay Speaker

That ends questions to the Minister for Regional Development.