Derry cross-city Glider recommended in transport study and being explored, says Nichola Mallon

A new ‘Glider’ style cross-city service could be on the cards, according to Transport Minister Nichola Mallon.

The Minister said a recommendation to explore the development of a high frequency scheme is included in the draft North West Transport Study (NWTS). DUP MLA Gary Middleton asked Ms. Mallon if her department had considered developing a Derry Glider.

Translink has been running a successful service in Belfast for the past two years.

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Essentially a bus-based alternative to light rail, Glider vehicles can hold about 105 people and their engines use hybrid technologies to reduce noise and pollutants.

“The NWTS has been developed in parallel with the Derry City & Strabane District Council Plan Strategy. A recommendation in the draft NWTS is to investigate improvements to the Foyle Metro bus network, including a flagship high quality cross-city route running at high frequency between Park & Ride termini. Recommendations in the NWTS will be developed subsequently in the North West Transport Plan (NWTP). The NWTP will be developed in parallel with DC&SDC Local Policies Plan which is programmed to commence next year,” the minister said.

The NWTP will ultimately inform active travel, road, bus and rail priorities in Derry.

“Whilst detailed proposals have not yet been developed, a high frequency, cross-city bus service, with many of the features of the Glider system, is under consideration to help reduce dependency on private car use. Belfast saw a 30% increase in passenger numbers along routes served by the Glider service since its introduction in 2018, and so the feasibility of rapid transit measures will be carefully considered as part of the broader NWTP proposals to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality in the North West,” she said.