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If you don't ask you don't get....
I don't I'd much rather the people of Northern Ireland start making more of a contribution to the country and less of moaning rattling of the begging bowl. I don't want my country to continue like that. Its about time we starting stumping up more to support our own country and not running to the British government and UK taxpayers of Scotland, Wales and England and demanding we get more than our fair share.

To be fair BelfastUniGuy, and I'm not being ignorant, our local MLAs have tried hard to make NI a place where we our less reliant on money from the UK taxpayer. Gordon Brown refuses to reduce our Corporate Tax. I hope there is another way. :)

I think it was one of the MLAs who said that Brown has no right to whinge about how much money we get when he makes it difficult for us to attract investment.
 

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If you don't ask you don't get....

Well to be perfectly frank Northern Ireland ask WAY too much. I would love more money to ploughed into transport projects but the fact remains that we already get a vast amount of money from the UK taxpayers and many here seem content with just demanding more...do you see that as your right?

I don't I'd much rather the people of Northern Ireland start making more of a contribution to the country and less of moaning rattling of the begging bowl. I don't want my country to continue like that. Its about time we starting stumping up more to support our own country and not running to the British government and UK taxpayers of Scotland, Wales and England and demanding we get more than our fair share.

Less of the 'Dublin is TOTALLY AMAZING AND SUPERIOR' bull. Dublin may have a great tram system but the simple fact is that they could afford to built it using their own generated tax revenue which was greatly enhanced by attracting business but drastically cutting taxes especially corporation tax. THAT is how Dublin prospered, additionally supported with billions from Europe.

So unless you are willing to actually understand those basic concepts of being apart of the United Kingdom where tax revenue is limited and not a bottomless pit then there is really no point in me wasting my time with you further.

If Dublin is so superior then more there. Then over the coming years we'll see just how glorious the city is as recession starts to bite. Already public transport works are being drastically cut back.

AND THAT is the problem with the Irish economic boom is was based on the growth of a banking and financial sector which is perilously close to collapse. Best if you actually look at the bigger picture and spare me your begging bowl rhetoric.
Im unaware of any public transport cuts in Dublin but anyway we do have an advantage in being able to do what we want when we want with our own money - however there is a good point in your post - 6 counties of this Island, a majority within them, believe that their economic future is secured within the UK- that is fine. I dont believe that is the case for a second. I dont think Britain gives two figs about Northern Ireland and I dont believe they are going to do Northern Ireland, ahead of other regions, any favours due to the harsh economic reality also hitting the UK at the moment. The sooner this ends the sooner all these ambitious things can be done. I just dont see that happening though for the forseeable future - the economic circumstances are just not right. Like it or not, until it does, it is the begging bowl till then. That is no fault of your own - that is just circumstance. Might aswell make use of it but dont expect major transport investments in the mean time. There will be the usual token stuff, new buses, a few new trains now and again but nothing major....until the global economy improves and things get moving again. We are at a time of economic crisis - It is not only the UK and Ireland and the Eurozone and America. I think ultimately for everyone expectations need to fall. So I do agree with the premise of your post.


It is a question now of posistioning properly for the upturn which will come.
 

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To be fair BelfastUniGuy, and I'm not being ignorant, our local MLAs have tried hard to make NI a place where we our less reliant on money from the UK taxpayer. Gordon Brown refuses to reduce our Corporate Tax. I hope there is another way.
To be fair they have not. Going to Downing Street time after time and demanding a peace package is not trying very hard to less reliant on government money. Lower corporation tax would be fantastic but its not going to happen as that same right would legally have to be employed in the other UK nations.

Also, had they wanted to be less reliant then water charges would not have been put back for years, costing governments departments hundreds of millions and delaying the investment in the 'world class infrastructure' that everyone wants but little are expecting to have to pay for.
If they were so concerned about projects and the Northern Ireland economy and ensuring a strong base for growth then they would have met in the past 137 days and not bickered and bitched while the global economy goes you know where.


@Odlum, the Irish Government are planning cuts in transport and development spending on the next few years to try and prevent an increase in borrowing. Currently 10% of all Irish government spending is borrowed. Brian Cowen intends to have some pretty drastic cuts to prevent that increasing and to start becoming less reliant on borrowing.
 

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@Odlum, the Irish Government are planning cuts in transport and development spending on the next few years to try and prevent an increase in borrowing. Currently 10% of all Irish government spending is borrowed. Brian Cowen intends to have some pretty drastic cuts to prevent that increasing and to start becoming less reliant on borrowing.

The national development plan is the corner stone of Irish economic policy - some elements within it can be delayed if nessacary but public transport projects of importance like metro are on target and incidentally the funding of a motorway from Dublin to Derry through NI has not changed so you do have some interest in it. What you will see is the public sector getting a kick up the backside shortly. You are not the only ones with issues in that department. Personally I hope they are fed to the dogs.

Whilst transport has not been touched this year - it could be next year. That would not disappoint me because of the enormity of the plan itself...many huge projects are underway and are not under threat.

Savings will be made by culling the current account i.e Public Sector.

Everyone recognises times are difficult not only here but around the world. I go back to my ealier point - my expectations as well as everyone elses - in most Western Countries will have to be limited for the next few years. Its unfortunate but nothing we can do about it except blame the banks:bash::lol:
 

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To be fair they have not. Going to Downing Street time after time and demanding a peace package is not trying very hard to less reliant on government money. Lower corporation tax would be fantastic but its not going to happen as that same right would legally have to be employed in the other UK nations.

Also, had they wanted to be less reliant then water charges would not have been put back for years, costing governments departments hundreds of millions and delaying the investment in the 'world class infrastructure' that everyone wants but little are expecting to have to pay for.
If they were so concerned about projects and the Northern Ireland economy and ensuring a strong base for growth then they would have met in the past 137 days and not bickered and bitched while the global economy goes you know where.
You may have some points in your post, but is it not fair to say regarding Corporate Tax that NI is in a different position from England, Scotland and Wales as we are the only region of the UK that shares a land border with a country with a lower rate.

I know if they reduced tax here then companies in England etc might move to NI. But I think companies are more likely to choose the south over NI than companies are too move from England etc to NI if we reduced our Corp. Tax.

Surely the way out of it is for Brown and (is it Alistair Darling Chancellor?) to reduce Corp. Tax all over the UK.

Is it not Browns fault if he refuses to reduce our Tax?

I think the campaign is still ongoing.

Someone else once said that a reduced Corporation Tax is not a neccessity for Foreign Investment, that there are other ways to get Foreign Companies to invest in your country.
 

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Belfastuniguy, we get money from westminster because they mismanaged our country under direct rule and we, unlike the other UK nations did have 30 years of debilitating conflict which battered our economy. The UK needs to provide economic support until we can support ourselves and they need to compensate us for not managing the situation correctly. They made their bed, they lie in it! As far as I am concerned we deserve the support and we deserve to be shown that there is confidence in our development and future and Economic Development is the only way for NI to avoid a return to the Dark Days.
 

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Having lived in Manchester for the past year and travelled to and from work on the tram I would not be in favour of a fixed line system.

There are minor delays almost every day - a van parked slightly over the track, an accident, a derailment - things which hold up my journey by 10 - 15 minutes but are a constant source of whinging from fellow tram users.

I really can't understand the idea of a fixed line bus system that they have talked about - does this mean using a form of transport which can be flexible enough to navigate around problems and then boxing it in so that a breakdown scuppers the entire line?
 

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Having lived in Manchester for the past year and travelled to and from work on the tram I would not be in favour of a fixed line system.

There are minor delays almost every day - a van parked slightly over the track, an accident, a derailment - things which hold up my journey by 10 - 15 minutes but are a constant source of whinging from fellow tram users.
That's because the system is old and is currently being revamped and extended.

The Manchester system was originally built on a shoe string.

There are many advantages to trams, probably the biggest being they are the only form of public transport outside of London that is proven to get people of their cars.

A good use of them is to connect them to an external park and ride from a busy road or motorway and feed the tram line into the city centre.
 

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Belfastuniguy, we get money from westminster because they mismanaged our country under direct rule and we, unlike the other UK nations did have 30 years of debilitating conflict which battered our economy. The UK needs to provide economic support until we can support ourselves and they need to compensate us for not managing the situation correctly. They made their bed, they lie in it! As far as I am concerned we deserve the support and we deserve to be shown that there is confidence in our development and future and Economic Development is the only way for NI to avoid a return to the Dark Days.

The reason we get money from westminster is because we are part of the UK. We pay out taxes and the government then distributes the way it sees fit to the regions. The bloody Sunday inquiry is costing £100 million + every bombed building, car, murder cost the UK millions. Are you saying that devolved government works here. Do you actually believe that the criminals running this place are doing a good job. We have to pay our way, the executive have delayed water tax, bringing free prescriptions etc. The socialist way sounds good, but free prescriptions still have to be paid for by you and me. The water charges are building up and the amount we owe is rising-we still have to pay for it. (as a result other services will be cut). We have a good education system with some of the best performing schools in the UK, and waht are they going to do mess it up. Bring back (more accountable) direct rule to all UK regions. How much tax is wasted on over manned government. We have loads of council HQ buildings with 100's of councillors (that is local government) give them more powers. The local assembly is a waste of money. The whole thing is a joke.
 

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Belfastuniguy is correct when he says that the money we get from Westminster is more than what we pay to it in Taxes.

I just think Westminster should help us make NI a place where foreign and indigenous companies want to set up business which would help us prosper and make us certainly LESS reliant.
 

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Belfastuniguy, we get money from westminster because they mismanaged our country under direct rule and we, unlike the other UK nations did have 30 years of debilitating conflict which battered our economy. The UK needs to provide economic support until we can support ourselves and they need to compensate us for not managing the situation correctly. They made their bed, they lie in it! As far as I am concerned we deserve the support and we deserve to be shown that there is confidence in our development and future and Economic Development is the only way for NI to avoid a return to the Dark Days.


Yeah I know the historical reason why we get more money than we make, I'm not retarded..

What I'm saying is that I don't like people here somehow thinking they have the right to just demand more of it for massively expensive capital projects. Not every other city in the UK is getting tram systems and such projects. Yes I understand why the increased revenue has been needed, but I do like the fact that some see extra funds as they given right to claim..
 

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Why does Belfast need trams/underground. The buses are the best form of public transport in cities. Even in London I use surface buses now. You get to see the city, they are frequent, you can hop off exacty where you want. The amount of walking underground you have to do at some of the stations is a joke. Belfast is a small city doesn't need to waste money on a tram network. All Belfast needs is more bus lanes.
 

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I wasn't trying to suggest that you were retarded. I think that under normal circumstances people should pay for what they want. I firmly believe in the Scandinavian model where high taxation equates to high government spending and where borrowing is kept to a minimum. NI on the other hand has an international stigma no matter how many times Martin shook Big Ians hand for the cameras. We need investment in infrastructure and major projects to show the world that we are open for business. We cannot afford to foot the bill as our wages are substantially lower than those of our GB and ROI counterparts. Considering that NI's budget during the troubles was siphoned off into security measures its easy to see how we have fallen behind and deserve a quick-fix catch up. They are even managing the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan better, they are spending billions there each year on reconstruction which would have been laughed at if suggested for NI during the troubles and we are actually part of their country?!

Our administration needs a kick up the arse, I don't believe in Direct Rule. Even Unionists agree that Westminster's knowledge of what works here is limited, we need local decision making and considering that the 2nd biggest party here (like them or NOT) abstain from their seats in the House of Commons, direct rule would just push nationalists back to the 80's and we can't have nearly half of our country in the dark!!

When it comes to finances Scotland has got its own rules (not regarding taxation - i know) so would it not be possible for NI to be given Special Economic Status where corporation tax is lowered or economic assistance is enhanced. Companies from GB can be stopped from moving here - if you are handing out free money then you can set down rules as to who gets it! But all this aside, no matter what assistance or breaks there are available to prospective investors, they won't invest unless we are squeaky clean and right now to look at the place we are just pulling through. I believe we will be ready for the next economic upturn (whenever that will be?), but in the meantime we all, NI GB and ROI should be investing in infrastructure here so that we don't miss the (probably cancelled sunday-) train next time.

My rant has ended....


Delta - would be inclined to agree in the short term, check out curitiba in Brazil, it has segregated bus lanes in the centre of its arterial routes (like you see with trams in Berlin and Brussels etc) and actual halts for the buses to stop at. The mode of trnasport does play on the publics mind but if you make more of the service then i think they will be just as inclined to use it. What about articulated, segregated trolley-buses. If we had them on all our arterial routes and then smaller inter-district buses doing the rest the city would flow a lot better. Seriously check out curitiba, its system is old and a bit tired but the principle is excellent. I know that the issue of space is going to come into it, where can you fit 2 bus lanes on all our main roads? - if we don't enhance public transport then the road will need widened to deal with more cars - necessary evil!
 

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That's because the system is old and is currently being revamped and extended.

The Manchester system was originally built on a shoe string.
I'm sure a similar system in Belfast will be built 'on a shoestring' too.

The point I'm making is that fixed line systems have no flexibility and so are easily disrupted by 3rd parties.

It's not that I'm against a tram system - actually I'd take it any day over a bus but there are down sides. One of these is the lack of space in Belfast which will force the tram to use the roads a lot more than the Manchester system and, therefore, will be subject to all the normal traffic issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Details of the bus rapid transport scheme were revealed a few hours ago as part of the governments commitment to fund the Titanic signature project. You can read about it here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7753171.stm

Very little is said about it, but it seems that it will "run from Milmount in the east to Glenmona in the west and will call at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, Stormont, the City Hall, the Royal Victoria Hospital and a number of other destinations."

They say that "work on the rapid transit system is set to get under way in 2011 and one of its stops will be at the new Titanic centre, which is on the east side of Belfast Lough."
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Not a lot to go by, would be good to read the press release if it's availiable to the public. The phrasing of some of the news reports suggests that the east belfast and west belfast line will be one and the same. Cross city travel is a real no brainer but up to now has been pisspoor. I'm sure there would be a significant amount of passengers to go the hospitals alone. However I wouldnt hold my breath at the prospect of the EWAY & WWAY being linked. It wasnt in the plans earlier this year. It seems the DRD considered the half mile stretch from the City Hall to Europa bus station too busy for segregated bus lanes.

Some of the destinations have been mentioned. Ulster hospital leads me to think that the EWAY may drive along the Newtownards Rd. Dont know how they will fit it through Dundonald village, if they choose to that is. If it goes via the Comber Greenway the Stormont stop will be at least a 5 minute walk from the Stormont gates, and pedestrian steps will need to be constructed given that the greenway here is in a deep ditch.

It's strange that they actually mention the areas of Glenmona & Millmount, 2 areas of housing that have not been built yet and are not well known. Taking the WWAY to Glenmona (on the Monagh bypass) was the cheaper option. With the housing market like it is it seems a strange area to anchor the success of your bus system to. But maybe I'm right in guessing that there is a housing shortage in the west? I'm sure the social housing section of it will fill up soon, though will the private houses, retail & industrial parts go ahead as planned.

Millmount is a strange one though. It's probably 100% private, so there is a real risk of the scheme not getting off the ground at all. And then you have to factor in the levels of bus ridership that terminus will attract. Millmount will likely be badly designed low density suburban sprawl with no services what so ever. Much like the adjacent Old Mill development, and to an extent the large but isolated Ballybeen estate. A middle class area like this is likely to attract people who wouldnt use public transport anyway. Well thats my thoughts at least.
 

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We all knew for a long time that all we were going to get in Belfast were the crap bendy buses that pretend to be rapid transit trams. Even at that, the busiest corridors have been ignored, one of these being the south east routes that lead to the Ormeau Road. The new Titanic Quarter was another missed opportunity to put in place a proper light rail/tram line. Even a tiny city like Galway is set to have a 3 route tram system and their excellent web site shows how this will be achieved at a smaller cost than that of the crap bendy bus option.

Don't believe me? see for yourself www.gluas.ie/ Cost for three lines: "GLUAS is estimated to cost in the region of €200 million, less than €10 million per kilometre.

If they can do it why can't we? (I already know the answer to that one by the way)
 

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We all knew for a long time that all we were going to get in Belfast were the crap bendy buses that pretend to be rapid transit trams. Even at that, the busiest corridors have been ignored, one of these being the south east routes that lead to the Ormeau Road. The new Titanic Quarter was another missed opportunity to put in place a proper light rail/tram line. Even a tiny city like Galway is set to have a 3 route tram system and their excellent web site shows how this will be achieved at a smaller cost than that of the crap bendy bus option.

Don't believe me? see for yourself www.gluas.ie/ Cost for three lines: "GLUAS is estimated to cost in the region of €200 million, less than €10 million per kilometre.

If they can do it why can't we? (I already know the answer to that one by the way)

Well actually, similar costs are not applicable to all cities. There will be differences in terms of capital spend. Some cities will have wider roads while others will require completely new separate guide-ways.

Comparing to Galway, does not give an accurate understanding of cost.
 

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Details of the bus rapid transport scheme were revealed a few hours ago as part of the governments commitment to fund the Titanic signature project. You can read about it here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7753171.stm
I think nobody was under the illusion that a light rail scheme may actually have been built in Belfast. This won't get people out of their cars. These schemes need to extend into the commuter belt - eg Comber / Newtownards to help ease congestion.

I also wonder how the route is planned to go from the Holywood Arches to Odyssey? Will it follow the old railway alignment or run along the course of the Connswater (road protection line) then under Sydenham bypass at proposed road junction, then down Sydenham Road? Most of the infrastructure costs associated with the new structures required for a busway, could also accommodate a future light rail - I live in hope.

I also wonder if the proposed 'Super-route' through the south city will get off the ground. This should be extended to Carryduff. There are also other towns close to existing railways which would benefit from some aditional infrastructure, eg Ballyclare - I think this is only a couple of miles from the existing track.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
You're right about the desirability of the EWAY going to Comber & Newtownards. I reckon the bus will be quick enough to mean that the trip all the way to Comber would be as quick as driving there by car if not quicker. Newtownards may be a bit slower as going via Comber is indirect, but it should be a lot quicker than current bus routes. Its a real missed oppurtunity to terminate at Dundonald. Towns as big as that in England would undoubtedly have a train service.

The route to Holywood arches will most likely go via Queens Bridge, Station St, Sydenham Rd, across the Sydenham byspass over either Dee St bridge or a replacement, and then on the old railway line parallel to Mersey St, which could probably acommodate 2 bus lanes and a cycle path quite comfortabaly- the rest of the comber greenway is narrow enough to make it very unpleasant to walk on with buses whizzing past.

The Dee St bridge access onto the bypass is going to be done away with for good, this will either be retained purely for the busway or a replacement bridge will be constructed. I assume it will be the latter option, as stupid that sounds. The intended aim of making the route future proof for a tram upgrade isnt too surprising. It'll probably cost very little to do this. The only tricky thing would probably be that the route will have right angle turns, which will slow a tram down a lot.

A route to carryduff is a no brainer. The place is such a shithole that anything that will take cars off it's main road and allow residents to get the **** out of there quickly would be very nice. A train to Ballyclare would be good too. A project like that would give them an excuse to double the current track and get some halts on the Shore Rd for Abbey Centre, Monkstown, etc.
 

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"A route to carryduff is a no brainer. The place is such a shithole that anything that will take cars off it's main road and allow residents to get the **** out of there quickly would be very nice."

Excellent.
 
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