In January 2007, then Regional Development Minister in Northern Ireland, David Cairns, announced that engineering consultants WS Atkins PLC were to undertake economic feasibility studies on rapid transit proposals for Belfast, including assessing the Belfast Metropolitan Transport Plan (BMTP) proposals for the EWAY rapid transit scheme which would run between Dundonald and Belfast city centre. A report was expected around mid-2007.
History & Route
Both the Regional Transportation Strategy (RTS) for Northern Ireland and the BMTP recognised the value of introducing rapid transit services in Belfast.
In 2003-04 the Knock Valley Relief Sewer was laid along 7.5 km (4.7 mi) of the disused trackbed of the Belfast and County Down Railway, flowing from Dundonald to the site of the former junction with the Belfast - Bangor line at Ballymacarrett. The sewer is positioned so as not to jeopardise proposed use of the trackbed for the EWAY project.
The proposed route will utilise The Comber Greenway running from inner Belfast to Comber. Currently a foot and cycle path, a campaign group has been formed to relocate the route onto the Upper Newtownards Road.
- "Rapid Transit study for Belfast". Department for Regional Development News Releases. 2007-01-16. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
- see website http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/roads/belfastrapidtransit.html for more details on east way bus rapid transit project
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