Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard this afternoon confirmed that the long battle to have Derry’s Old Waterside Station chosen as the city’s preferred new transport hub site has been won.
Together with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Mr Hazzard confirmed that the ornate Victorian Station will now be the site for Derry transport hub, although it has not been confirmed yet whether a funding bid submitted to the European Union has been successful.
The station was the public’s preferred site following a consultation back in 2013, but today marks the first time Ministers have firmly committed to developing the old station.
During a site visit to the station today, Mr McGuinness said: “The transport hub will support the growth of the local economy and is of massive importance to the city of Derry and beyond.
“This is an ambitious project on the Old Waterside Station which will balance preserving the historic building and also meet the transport needs of the future.
“We will only attract more people to use public transport if we have the right infrastructure in place and the development of this transport hub is an important piece of the jigsaw in the north west.”
The Old Waterside Station is a Grade 2 listed building built in the 1870s.
The new plans include provision for a new terminus, but also facilities and amenities to promote sustainable travel options including bike parking, lockers and changing facilities and bike hire/repair.
Translink is currently taking forward the final stages of procurement of the old station.
An application for EU funding for the project was submitted at the end of August and is currently being assessed.
Infrastructure Minister, Chris Hazzard said: “Over the last few years, much has been done to transform both sides of the Foyle.
“The new transport hub project will provide a train station that complements regeneration and transforms a historic building into one fit for use today and for generations to come.
“Investing in public transport is vital if we want to attract investment, talent and tourism.
“Alongside projects like the A5 and A6 and the development of City of Derry Airport, those living west of the Bann are set to see a real change in the development of the local infrastructure over the coming years.”
Welcoming the Minister’s announcement, Translink Group Chief Executive Chris Conway said: “We are very much looking forward to building this exciting new transport hub. As an iconic building in the city, the new hub will help to encourage modal shift from car to public transport by providing integrated and convenient services to encourage more active travel for a healthier region.
“It will also act as an important gateway to the North West for visitors as well as help to regenerate the local area and make it more attractive to business and investors, helping to create local jobs and enhancing the local economy.”