Alex Easton MLA has today called for a rail halt to be built specifically at the George Best City Airport after a recent reply to a NI Assembly question.
Speaking today Alex Easton MLA said:
”I appreciate we are in uncertain times with the Covid 19 pandemic, but it is vital that we plan for the future that we look to see how we can improve tourism connectivity and business advantage which is why I am today calling on the Minister for Infrastructure and NI Railways to seriously look at the creation of a Train Station and halt at the George Best City Airport. In an age where commuters, passengers traveling to airports and business it is criminal that out second busiest local airport does not have the Infrastructure in place with a rail link right to the front of the George Best City Airport.”
“We have a situation of having a train halt hundreds of yards past the airport and the reliance on buses being put in place to ferry passengers to and from the Train halt to the airport. This does not make quick and easy access and does not make economic sense for the long term for such a busy airport not to have the facility for convenience for passengers needing to have quick access to public transport and in particular train transport and it also seriously undermines attempts to attract foreign investment into Northern Ireland for business who want to have quick easy access from the airport.”
“I believe firmly that passenger numbers would also increase using the George Best City Airport if there was a train station halt at the George Best City Airport and it would also see an increase in passenger usage from people living in North Down and Bangor who would have that quickly and access straight to the airport, which is what is needed and wanted. I intend to submit a Motion to the NI Assembly for the future on the issue.”
“While the Infrastructure Ministers Department is currently developing a new Regional Strategic Transport Network Transport Plan (RSTNT) the excuses for delays do not stack up, the Minister needs to cut out the waffle and excuses bring this to the floor of the Assembly for debate and let’s start planning for when we com ,out of the Covid 19 pandemic so we can improve our connectivity, attract investment to Northern Ireland and create jobs and wealth for all and that means improving our transport Network to George best Airport>E
To ask the Minister for Infrastructure whether there are plans to create a railway halt for George Best Belfast City Airport.
ANSWER It is imperative, given the unprecedented impact of Covid, that our public transport network is protected. I am committed to its protection and to seeing our public transport network expanded. My Department is currently developing a new Regional Strategic Transport Network Transport Plan (RSTNTP), one of four draft Transport Plans intended to set out the framework for transport policy and investment decisions until 2035. It will include a specific focus on improving the sustainability of transport networks and reducing carbon emissions and will therefore include a focus on our strategic roads, the buses which run on them and the rail network. The publication of the RSTNTP for consultation has been delayed by the impact of Covid 19 but we are making as much progress as is possible in the current circumstances and I am keen that the consultation process provides an opportunity for views to be sought on ideas to improve connectivity and encourage greater use of public transport, both bus and rail.