Mallon confirms free travel for Belfast’s healthcare staff
Health care workers will continue to receive free public transport access until the end of the month, while a public consultation has been launched on a new rapid transit project.
A public consultation has also been launched for phase two of the Belfast Rapid Transit system
Northern Ireland’s Minister of Infrastructure Nichola Mallon has confirmed that the temporary scheme to provide free travel for health care staff on public transport services will be extended to 31 August 2021.
“In March 2020 at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic I took the decision to make public transport free for all health and social care workers in recognition of the tireless and vital work they undertake day and daily. This was a small gesture to those workers who put themselves in the frontline to save lives and look after some of the most vulnerable in our community,” Mallon revealed.
“As we move through the Executive’s Pathway to Recovery, it is essential to continue to review the measures put in place. In line with this, I can confirm that the scheme will be extended to 31 August 2021 after which time normal charging will resume.
“Whilst the scheme was always intended to be temporary, I know this will be disappointing to many. I want to reassure our essential workers that our public transport will continue to be there for you.”
The free travel for health and social care staff will also cease on the Strangford and Rathlin ferry services from 31 August 2021.
Meanwhile, Mallon has also launched a public consultation to seek views on the emerging routes for Phase 2 of the Belfast Rapid Transit Project (BRT2) to help identify a preferred route in both South and North Belfast.
The project aims to extend the rapid transit network into and beyond North and South Belfast as well as connecting the existing G2 Glider service (which currently links Belfast City Centre to Titanic Quarter) to Queen’s University and Belfast City Hospital.
“Today I am delighted to announce a consultation on the Belfast Rapid Transit Glider expansion to North and South Belfast,” said Mallon.
“It is vital that we build on the success of Glider by expanding the service across the city. To date the Glider has been a hugely transformative project for Belfast, providing a modern, improved public transport experience for people who live, work, socialise in or visit the city.
“I want to see us build a better Belfast, and build that better Belfast together for everyone. I want the Glider service to bring people in all parts of our city closer together and open up opportunities for all communities, not just a few. That is why I want to hear from the people of Belfast.”