Belfast Rapid Transit - latest news

The implementation of Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT) started in 2014. The BRT project is being progressed as a series of schemes which are outlined below in terms of the works which are currently underway; the works which are planned to start in the next six months; and the works which have been completed.

Works currently underway

Upper Newtownards Road between Albertbridge Road and Sandown Road

  • Start date:  15 June 2015
  • Scheduled completion date:  May 2016
  • Nature of works:    

Minor carriageway widening and drainage system improvements to enable the extension of bus lanes in both directions for BRT. Resurfacing of 1.2km of carriageway and adjoining footways. Improvements to the traffic signals and pedestrian crossings at the Holywood Road, North Road and Sandown Road junctions. Upgrade of all existing pedestrian crossings and provision of an additional pedestrian crossing near Ebrington Gardens. Upgrade of street lighting to LED along the entire section.

The temporary traffic management required to carry out the works safely will consist mainly of localised lane closures restricted to off-peak periods. Some weekend road closures may be necessary to carry out carriageway resurfacing. Motorists are asked to take extra care in the vicinity of the works.

Details of any potential impacts on traffic in the area will be available on the Department's TrafficwatchNI website:

Divis Street/Falls Road between Millfield and Grosvenor Road

  • Start date:  12 October 2015
  • Scheduled completion date:  Autumn 2016
  • Nature of works: 

Minor carriageway widening and drainage system improvements to enable the extension of bus lanes in both directions for BRT. Resurfacing of 1.4km of carriageway and adjoining footways. Improvements to the traffic signals and pedestrian crossings at the junctions along the route. Upgrade of all existing pedestrian crossings and provision of an additional pedestrian crossing near Townsend Street. Upgrade of street lighting to LED along the entire section.

The temporary traffic management required to carry out the works safely will consist mainly of localised lane closures restricted to off-peak periods. Some weekend road closures may be necessary to carry out carriageway resurfacing.

Details of any potential impacts on traffic in the area will be available on the Department's TrafficwatchNI website:

Andersonstown Road/Stewartstown Road between Finaghy Road North and Michael Ferguson Roundabout

  • Start date:  25 January 2016
  • Scheduled completion date:  Spring 2017
  • Nature of works:    

Carriageway widening and drainage system improvements to enable the introduction of an inbound bus lane for BRT. Resurfacing of 1.8km of carriageway and adjoining footways. Improvements to the traffic signals and pedestrian crossings at the Suffolk Road, Blacks Road and Finaghy Road North junctions and provision of a new signalised junction at Shaw’s Road. Upgrade of all existing pedestrian crossings. Upgrade of street lighting to LED along the entire section.

The temporary traffic management required to carry out the works safely will consist mainly of localised footway closures and some lane closures. Weekend road closures may be necessary to carry out carriageway resurfacing.

Details of any potential impacts on traffic in the area will be available on the Department's TrafficwatchNI website:

Works scheduled to start in the next 6 months 

Albertbridge Road between Castlereagh Street and Newtownards Road

  • Scheduled start date:  September 2016
  • Scheduled completion date:  Summer 2017
  • Nature of works:

Minor carriageway widening and drainage system improvements to enhance and extend the existing bus lanes for BRT. Resurfacing of approximately 0.9km of carriageway and adjoining footways. Improvements to the traffic signals and pedestrian crossings at the Templemore Avenue, Connswater Link and Newtownards Road junctions. Upgrade of all existing pedestrian crossings. Upgrade of street lighting to LED along the entire section.

The temporary traffic management required to carry out the works safely will consist mainly of localised lane closures restricted to off-peak periods. Some weekend road closures may be necessary to carry out carriageway resurfacing. 

Falls Road/Andersonstown Road between Whiterock Road and Finaghy Road North

  • Scheduled start date:  September 2016
  • Scheduled completion date:  Spring 2018
  • Nature of works:

Minor carriageway widening and drainage system improvements to enable the extension of bus lanes in both directions for BRT. Resurfacing of approximately 2.8km of carriageway and adjoining footways. Signalisation of the existing roundabouts at Falls Road/Whiterock Road and Andersonstown Road/Kennedy Way junctions. Upgrade of all existing pedestrian crossings and provision of an additional pedestrian crossing in the vicinity of Falls Park. Upgrade of street lighting to LED along the entire section.

The temporary traffic management required to carry out the works safely will consist mainly of localised lane closures restricted to off-peak periods. Some weekend road closures may be necessary to carry out carriageway resurfacing. 

Works completed 

Dundonald Park & Ride

  • Location:  Dunlady Road near the junction with Upper Newtownards Road
  • Start date:  12 May 2014
  • Completion date:  30 November 2014
  • Opening Date:  1 December 2014

DRD Minister, Danny Kennedy MLA opens Dundonald Park and Ride facility
DRD Minister, Danny Kennedy MLA opens Dundonald Park and Ride facility
The 520 space Dundonald Park & Ride site was officially opened by Transport Minister, Danny Kennedy MLA on 1 December 2014. Dundonald Park & Ride will form a key part of the BRT system. Prior to the commencement of BRT services in 2018, it will be served by a new dedicated limited stop Metro 4X service during peak hours and by existing Translink Ulsterbus services at other times. The dedicated Metro service will use new environmentally friendly Euro six double-deck vehicles. Bicycle parking facilities are also provided.

For more information on the bus service to and from Dundonald Park & Ride site please visit Translink's website:

Press Release (28 November 2014): 

Upper Newtownards Road between Sandown Road and Knock Road

  • Start date:  23 June 2014
  • Completion date:  27 March 2015
  • Works carried out:    

Minor carriageway widening and drainage system enhancements to facilitate the introduction of bus lanes in both directions for BRT. Resurfacing of almost 1km of carriageway and adjoining footways. Three existing pedestrian crossings upgraded to Puffin crossings and one new Puffin pedestrian crossing provided near Ormiston Crescent.  Street lighting and traffic signal equipment upgraded to energy efficient LED along entire section.

Falls Road between Grosvenor Road and Whiterock Road

  • Start date:  8 September 2014
  • Completion date: 30 October 2015
  • Works carried out:    

Minor carriageway widening and drainage system improvements to enable the extension of bus lanes in both directions for BRT. Resurfacing of almost 1.4km of carriageway and adjoining footways. All existing pedestrian crossings upgraded to Puffin crossings. Street lighting and traffic signal equipment upgraded to energy efficient LED along the entire section. 

Archived news and press releases

As the Department’s proposals for BRT have developed and the implementation has started a number of key events have taken place and press releases have been issued. These are outlined below by way of a timeline of the project.

Public Information event - Falls Road/Andersonstown Road

11 and 12 February 2016

This public information event provided details of the section of the BRT route on the Falls Road and Andersonstown Road between Whiterock Road and Finaghy Road North.

Press release

26 January 2016

McIlveen announces £19 million contract award for Belfast Rapid Transit

Belfast rapid Transit contract announcement
Transport Minister Michelle McIlveen pictured with (from left to right) Jan Van Hool of Belgian-based company Van Hool, John Marks from Road Trucks Ltd and Chris Conway, Group Chief Executive from operators Translink
Transport Minister Michelle McIlveen has announced the award of a £19 million contract to supply a fleet of 30 vehicles for the new Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT) system.

Transport Minister visits BRT works

Transport Minister Michelle McIlveen visits Belfast Rapid Transit works
Michelle McIlveen and Robin Totten
On 19 November Transport Minister, Michelle McIlveen, pictured with TransportNI Project Manager Robin Totten, has visited a number of sites on the Belfast Rapid Transit network to inspect the progress of the £90m Northern Ireland Executive funded transformational public transport project, and has said:

“I am committed to advancing the delivery of the Belfast Rapid Transit system which, as part of the Executive’s Programme for Government, is set to transform public transport in Belfast. The developing infrastructure associated with the scheme such as the new Park and Ride site at Dundonald, improvements to roads, footways, lighting, drainage and pedestrian crossings along the routes are already providing early tangible benefits for commuters.” 

Press release

27 October 2015

Public information event – Albertbridge Road

8 and 9 October 2015

This public information event provided details of the section of the BRT route on the Albertbridge Road between the Albert Bridge and Newtownards Road.

Revision to scheduled operational date

16 September 2015

On 16 September 2015 the Department announced a change to the proposed operational date for the BRT system. The system is now scheduled to become operational in August 2018. The potential for delay was set out in the Department’s consultation on the draft budget last November and severe budget pressures remain on the Department and there is no certainty about the position for future years.

The programme for delivery of BRT is complex with multiple workstreams and inter-dependent projects to be delivered. We are continuing to work to address outstanding issues and implement recommendations from a recent independent review of the programme. That review confirmed 2018 is achievable provided key issues are addressed.

The Department briefed the Committee for Regional Development on the revised operational date on 16 September 2015.

It should be stressed that the implementation works for BRT are continuing and will provide benefits for existing public transport users in advance of BRT becoming operational. 

Press release

6 August 2015

Public information event, Falls Road Library, Falls Road

12 and 13 February 2015

This Public Information Event provided details of the section of the BRT route on Divis Street/Falls Road between Millfield and Grosvenor Road.

Press release

28 November 2014  

Public information event, Holywood Arches Library, Holywood Road

25 and 26 September 2014

This Public Information Event provided details of the section of the BRT route on the Upper Newtownards Road between Albertbridge Road and Sandown Road. 

Press release

23 September 2014

Press release

19 May 2014

Public information event, Colin Glen Forest Park Centre, Stewartstown Road

30 and 31 January 2014

This Public Information Event provided details of the section of the BRT route on the Andersonstown Road/ Stewartstown Road between Finaghy Road North and Michael Ferguson Roundabout.

Public information event, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, Falls Road

9 and 10 January 2014

This Public Information Event provided details of the section of the BRT route on the Falls Road between Grosvenor Road and Whiterock Road.

Public information event, Ballyhackamore Library, Upper Newtownards Road

28 and 29 November 2013

As the designs for individual sections of the BRT route are completed we are undertaking local Public Information Events at a number of locations along the routes. These events provide an opportunity for local elected representatives, residents and traders to view the proposals and speak to members of the project team. This event provided details of the section of the BRT route on the Upper Newtownards Road between Sandown Road and Knock Road.

Contact

Your views are important to us and comments can be forwarded to us at the Belfast Rapid Transit Team.