Milewater Service Centre Officially Opened
20th February 2019
Translink and the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) have today officially opened the new Milewater Service Centre in north Belfast, which is the main base for the iconic Glider fleet, as well as a new depot for Translink’s engineering and projects teams.
The new facility is an integral part of the Glider network, supporting the Programme for Government and a NI Executive Flagship Project. It represents an investment worth approximately £20 million, with £14 million support from the European Regional Development Fund through the Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme for Northern Ireland 2014-2020, plus support from the Department for Infrastructure.
The facility was officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey,
Working with Magherafelt-based contractor Henry Brothers Ltd, Translink has delivered a high-quality service centre, with enhanced services and facilities to accommodate Glider vehicles and standard Metro vehicles, workshops, central storage facilities, specialist equipment and bus washing and fuel facilities.
Chris Conway, Translink Group Chief Executive, said: ‘‘Milewater Service Centre is a great asset for Translink. It will help us ensure that our Glider fleet is kept and maintained in first class condition, helping to demonstrate Translink’s commitment to the highest standards of quality and excellence.
‘‘The site will also act as Translink’s central storage facility and workshop, maintaining our standard bus fleet alongside the Glider vehicles. Over 100 Translink colleagues are based on site, including specialist engineer and project teams.
‘‘I would like to thank Henry Brothers Ltd. for their work during construction, and would also thank DfI and European Regional Development Fund for their support of this project. I’m delighted to see the new facility officially in service, demonstrating once again Translink’s commitment to effective, efficient public transport and helping us be ‘your first choice for travel in Northern Ireland.’’
Katrina Godfrey, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Infrastructure, said: “Reflecting our Programme for Government outcomes, the Department for Infrastructure is committed to working collaboratively with others to increase the percentage of journeys made by public transport and encourage more people to consider active travel options such as walking and cycling.
“To do that successfully, we need to invest in the right infrastructure and facilities. We know that this is crucial in driving the change in travel behaviours that we all want to see and we can see the difference that the investment in the flagship Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT) project has made in enhancing the image of Belfast and encouraging many more people to choose public transport. We have already seen increases of over 20% in the journeys being made using public transport on the BRT routes which shows clearly that change is possible.
“The iconic Glider vehicles are a key part of BRT. They have a strong identity and high quality appearance. The state of the art facilities available at the new Milewater Service Centre will ensure the vehicles are maintained to the highest standards which will help us to build on the fantastic success achieved during the first six months and support Translink in continuing to deliver a high quality, more environmentally sustainable and efficient service for passengers. The Glider fleet is demonstrating a 10% to 40% improvement in fuel efficiency when compared with other Metro buses dependent on vehicle type and a 90% improvement in emission air quality.”
The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, said: ‘‘I was delighted to officially open the Milewater Service Centre today. Glider has energised Belfast since entering service last September, and the Milewater site is an integral part of its success story."
‘‘Improving connectivity across our city is a primary aim of the Belfast Agenda, the council’s long-term development plan for Belfast. Any increase in people using public transport will improve the air quality and our general environment as well as boosting the health of those who live in, work or visit Belfast. A confident, progressive city thrives on such investment, and I wish Translink every success in this new service centre.’’