Belfast City Centre Management and Translink set up Service Level Agreement to support city’s recovery
The provision of an advocacy role in Belfast City Centre is hugely important. The Service Level Agreement between the two organisations will see BCCM support Translink and represent the many businesses, charities and entities involved in the operations of the city to ensure the transport service runs at an optimum level.
BCCM currently acts an enabler, facilitator and coordinator of projects and services which are delivered through partnership engagement across the city centre. These projects are instrumental in helping achieve a safe, welcoming, vibrant and sustainable city centre which benefits all users of Belfast City Centre.
This Agreement has been entered into to enable the delivery of a cohesive and coordinated response to the issues facing Translink within Belfast City Centre.
The Service Level Agreement will last for one year with the potential to expand the contract.
Over the years, BCCM has succeeded in acting as an enabler and facilitator for the city centre, establishing the Cathedral Quarter Trust in 2012; securing a ‘yes’ vote for Belfast One BID in 2016 and a further ‘yes’ vote for the Linen Quarter BID in 2018. It also delivered the Purple Flag status across the city centre in 2019 for the three existing BIDS. Purple Flag status is an accreditation process similar to the Green Flag award for parks and the Blue Flag for beaches. This allows members of the public to quickly identify town and city centres that offer an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out.
BCCM will continue to provide Translink with direct access to its key partners through its stakeholder engagement and multi-agency Action and Steering Groups.
This will pave the way for a consistency of approach on city-wide issues and ensure the city centre remains a neutral, shared welcoming space.
Speaking about the new Service Level Agreement, Geraldine Duggan, City Centre Manager, Belfast City Centre Management Company, said: “This Agreement has been entered into to enable the delivery of a cohesive and coordinated response to the issues facing Translink within Belfast City Centre.
“Our role will be to support the operations of Translink in the city by working alongside our stakeholders to ensure the best outcome for the public and businesses in that vicinity.”
Damian Bannon, Belfast Area Manager, Translink, said: “BCCM and Translink have a well-established and effective working partnership which has very successfully helped deliver an ever improving public transport offering within Belfast. This new Service Level Agreement will further strengthen this partnership and help aid our building back better strategy. There is a collective imperative for us all as we emerge from the current Covid crisis to build back more sustainably, accelerate action on the climate crisis and enhance local air quality for a healthier, cleaner and greener city.
“As part of our building back better strategy we want to influence people's long term travel habits to encourage them to make better travel choices for their health and the environment by making public transport their first choice for travel today, for tomorrow. As part of our building back strategy we are investing heavily in 100 new high spec zero emission double deck buses and we will have a zero emission fleet operating through Belfast by 2030.
“In addition to this large scale investment we are introducing a new ticketing system on Metro. This will allow people to turn up, tap on with their bank card and travel. This will make it even more attractive and easier to travel.
“Changing people’s travel behaviours and positive climate action can’t be delivered in isolation and requires collaboration with communities and key stakeholders such as BCCM. This enhanced partnership will see BCCM continue to play an important advocacy role for our current and future passengers who shop, work and enjoy themselves in Belfast city centre.”