An extension of the Glider bus route to north Belfast will run via the Antrim Road, the Department of Infrastructure has announced.
Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd announced the news this morning as he confirmed the extension of the service into north and south Belfast.
The second phase of the Glider works also proposes connecting the existing G2 Glider service — which currently links Belfast City Centre to Titanic Quarter — to Queen’s University and Belfast City Hospital.
A consultation on the new routes was held last year and saw significant support for the eventual chosen routes.
The route in south Belfast will run from City Hall to Great Victoria Street, Bruce Street, Bankmore Link to Ormeau Road before continuing to the Ravenhill Road intersection and along the Saintfield Road to Carryduff.
The north route will travel along Donegall Place, Royal Avenue, Donegall Street and Clifton Street to Carlisle Circus before continuing along the Antrim Road to Glengormley.
Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd said: “I know that people across north and south Belfast have been keen to see progress on extending this successful service so I am pleased today to announce my decision on the preferred route.
“My officials will now commence the detailed design of the proposed G3 route along the Antrim Road in the north, and along the Ormeau Road and Saintfield Road in the south.
"It is important that we are ambitious in terms of our public transport provision and therefore I have decided that the north and south routes should extend to Glengormley and Carryduff, respectively; however, the feasibility of such will be further assessed as part of the detailed design.
"The existing City Centre to Titanic Quarter Glider service will also be extended to connect with Queen’s University and the City Hospital.
“My officials will continue to engage with residents, businesses and other stakeholders along the selected route as the detailed design is progressed.”
While there was expected to be little controversy over the route in south Belfast along the Ormeau and Saintfield Roads, it was expected the northern line would be more contentious, with a decision being taken for the route to follow the Antrim Road, or on either one of two options via the Shore Road.