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Waterside Railway Station plan – Derry Deserves Better

This petition had 2,933 supporters

We call on the Planning Committee of Derry City & Strabane District Council to reject Translink’s proposals for Derry-Londonderry’s new rail station. Our city deserves better.

In 2013 Translink (NI’s rail operator) announced that Derry would finally get a new train station. This is something that local rail lobby ‘Into the West’, and other groups in the city, have long campaigned for. We argued that the city needed “a regional gateway fit for a regional capital”, and that restoring the beautiful, historic station at Duke Street (built 1875) would be the most appropriate way to do this.

However Translink “don’t do heritage buildings”, so they proposed instead to create a new building from scratch. Public and political pressure forced them to hold a consultation on various station options, in which 1,400 people responded – two-thirds of whom wanted the old station re-used. Eventually Translink gave in and bought the historic station.

Translink have now applied to the Council for permission to create a new ‘Transport Hub’ at the historic Waterside Railway Station building. However their plans are just a continuation of their original intention of not reusing the historic building. Instead they want to create new station platforms outside the old building. They also intend to convert the historic building into an incredibly bland waiting room, office space, staff rooms, etc. – everything except an actual station for trains. And they’re doing it in a way that is unfit for one of our city’s fine historic buildings.

See the recent article on how Translink’s plans fall short.

A summary of the main issues are:

  • Trains will not be allowed to enter the station building (trains did enter the building for over 100 years)
  • Translink plans for the interior of the building are bland, mediocre and will obscure the remaining physical heritage
  • The plans will also mean no restoration of the facade of the building (which was damaged in the 1970s bombs).
  • In the area around the station, Translink propose lining the riverfront with a car park, when other locations on the site would be better. Let's not ruin our beautiful riverside with yet more carparks.

Derry-Londonderry is Ireland’s most historic city, and the regional capital of the north-west.  We need a restored and enhanced railway station that can serve as a badge for our city’s status and uniqueness. We deserve more than Translink’s mediocre - ‘good enough for Derry’ - plans to create a sham-station. Our city deserves better, and generations to come will blame us for selling them short - yet again - if we don’t fight to achieve it.

Please sign this petition to let the local Council and local MLAs know that you are not happy with Translink’s proposals. If Translink do not willingly revise their plans to reflect the concerns of local people, we call on the Council’s Planning Officers and Planning Committee to force them to make the desired changes, by rejecting the current planning application. Let’s ensure we get the new rail station that our city deserves.

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