Gliding to Success in Newtownabbey
25 April 2018
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Paul Hamill, pictured alongside Council Chief Executive Jacqui Dixon and Translink Group Chief Executive Chris Conway with a Glider vehicle at Mossley Mill.
A cross-party group of local representatives who attended the Glider event at Mossley Mill. Pictured l-r are Cllr Billy Webb (Alliance); Trevor Clarke MLA (DUP); Cllr Linda Clarke (DUP); Jacqui Dixon, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council Chief Executive, Cllr Paul Hamill, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey; Cllr David Arthurs (UUP); Paul Girvan MP; and Chris Conway, Translink Group Chief Executive.
With just over four months to go until Glider, Belfast’s new mode of transport, goes live, Translink and the Department for Infrastructure are stepping up engagement with customers and stakeholders in order to further raise awareness of this innovative and iconic new service which will transform public transport in greater Belfast.
The service will go live east to west across the city on Monday 3 September, and will represent a new, effortless and smooth way to travel, with a separate service from the city centre to Titanic Quarter, serving tourism and commercial facilities in that area
A wide itinerary of Glider events is underway across the city, but one of the distinctive Glider vehicles has been spending a morning at Mossley Mill, headquarters of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, in order to give local elected representatives and members of the public an exclusive glimpse of the new service!
A recent engagement event at Mossley Mill attracted a cross-party attendee list of local councillors and MLAs, South Antrim MP Paul Girvan and a range of members of the local community. Visitors took the opportunity to board one of the new vehicles and find out more about the many features of the service.
Chris Conway, Translink Group Chief Executive, said: ‘‘As the introduction of Glider draws closer, we have been engaging with a wide range of stakeholders about the service and we’ve been very encouraged by the positive response from customers. We wanted to host a stakeholder engagement session in Newtownabbey in order to give customers and stakeholders in the area an opportunity to see the Glider for themselves and learn more about it. We were delighted by the very positive and enthusiastic response.
‘‘Representing a total investment of around £90m, Glider is a key Programme for Government priority. The service will introduce numerous benefits, including a new off-vehicle ticketing system, service frequency of around 7-8 minutes at peak times, and improved connectivity, all while maintaining the same great value for money fares as existing Metro services. The unique style of the 32 new eco-hybrid Glider vehicles will bring a whole new level of transport experience to the city streets.
‘‘It’s clear from our engagement to date that people in Belfast – and beyond - are excited about Glider; it is a completely new service, a modern, vibrant public transport system for a confident, forward looking city and a real vote of confidence in the future of greater Belfast. It also represents another milestone in our journey to making public transport your first choice for travel in Northern Ireland.’’
Councillor Paul Hamill, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, said: “It was fantastic to see the new Glider at Mossley Mill today. This new transport is extremely modern and it was interesting to hear the exciting plans for this vehicle in Northern Ireland. I would encourage everyone to use public transport where possible and with the addition of 32 Glider vehicles to the Translink fleet, using public transport will be easier and more comfortable than ever.”
Details of forthcoming engagement events, as well as additional information on the Glider itself, will be published on the Translink webpage at www.translink.co.uk/gliderbelfast/