No funds yet for Waterside Station

The former Waterside Railway Station. 2001JM65
The former Waterside Railway Station. 2001JM65

The Old Railway Station is now the central focus for redevelopment.

Mr Kennedy was speaking to the Journal as he visited the city recently for a range of engagements.

Refurbishing the ornate old Victorian Station emerged as the clear favourite during consultation on four different options launched over two years ago by Translink.

There has been some speculation over recent days that developments regarding the station are imminent but Translink yesterday failed to provide a response to a query submitted by the Journal.

Prior to this, Mr Kennedy said that Old Waterside Station remained the only location being looked at for the new station.

He said: “It is well known we have identified and agreed on the location.

“We are anxious to bring forward the project. Ultimately it will be down to money, finance.

“There is no money set aside or earmarked for it at this point. That’s I think well known and understood, but I think there is considerable community support and political support for it and no doubt, hopefully within the next financial settlement from 2016 onwards I would hope we would make progress, but it is dependent on finance. “

He confirmed that while there was no money in his own budget set aside for the station this year, “we will continue to bring it forward as positively as we can because we are aware of the local support for it.”

Speaking after it emerged that work on Phase Two of the Derry to Coleraine upgrade was due to resume in the coming months, the Minister said:

“Phase Two is back on track and we are keen to make progress on that.

“I think it has been a huge success. The numbers using Coleraine / Londonderry remain very encouraging.

“I was absolutely right and justified in ensuring the line stayed open and Phase One was successfully completed and now we are looking to bring Phase Two forward.”

The Phase Two works were halted after it emerged that the £20m cost of the project were grossly under-estimated, with the true cost likely to be in the region of £40m instead.

The revelation led to the suspension of the works, with the Regional Development Committee at Stormont launching an Inquiry into what went wrong.

Members of the Committee arrived in Derry a fortnight ago to listen to the views of local people.

A formal Inquiry hearing was also staged with officials from Translink and the DRD giving evidence to the committee in the City Hotel.