Highlight text to annotate itX
This is Ghent Saint Peter's Railway Station.
It is almost a century old, and today, is the most important station in Flanders.
Every working day, some 45,000 passengers take the train.
More than 30% of them travel to the station by bus or tram,
13 % come on bikes,
and approximately 6 % use their car.
We expect and want the number of passengers to increase
in the near future.
The National Belgian Railway Company, NMBS,
aims at a 25 % growth by 2012.
Public transport company 'De Lijn' expects to double the number
of tram and bus passengers by 2020.
But the current infrastructure is no longer appropriate.
Every day, passengers are confronted with old-fashioned facilities
and overcrowded conditions.
The station and its environment need to be adapted to the twenty-first century.
In 2007, we started a major construction project:
The Ghent Saint Peters Project:
It is a joint enterprise between
NMBS, Infrabel, Eurostation, De Lijn, The Flemish Region
and the City of Ghent.
The station is to become the magnificent gateway
to a modern city.
A central hub where train, tram, bus, bicycle, car , taxi
and pedestrians inter-connect smoothly with each other.
Let's first focus on the train station.
Drastic changes are planned, but not everything will disappear.
The original entrance building is a protected monument.
Only recently, the ceiling paintings were restored,
and the entrance was given a stylish porch.
It's a similar story for Maria Hendrika Square,
a protected viewpoint of the city.
The trees as well as the fountain and the statue must be preserved.
The infrastructure IN and AROUND the station, however,
will be completely modernised.
All platforms will be made 4 meters wider, and a lot longer.
The old intermediate service platforms will disappear.
The 12 tracks, and most of the switchpoints will be reorganised,
making incoming and outgoing traffic faster and safer.
A roof construction with a lot of glass
will cover the 12 platforms.
The sun will shine onto the new open hall
underneath the railway lines
through almost transparent floor elements in the platforms.
There will be wide staircases, stylish escalators and elevators.
The station will be easily accessible for people
with restricted mobility.
This narrow passenger tunnel is broken open.
The station will feature a 35,000 sq. meter open space
for many different facilities , restaurants and cafes
in a pleasant atmosphere.
This small backdoor to the station, on Saint Dennis avenue,
Instead, a fully fledged entrance will be constructed:
A distinct and contemporary façade
with colourful light emitting glass panels.
An attractive new square, the Princess Mathilde square,
will complete the Saint Dennis avenue entrance.
Today, trams and busses seem to operate completely separately
from the world of trains.
During rush hour there is an extreme lack of space for tram and bus commuters.
Public transport creates its own difficult traffic flow.
The Ghent Saint Peter's project will turn the whole area
into an easy going hub for all means of public and private transport.
A completely new bus station can accommodate
24 articulated buses at a time,
with 12 platforms instead of the current 8.
Space for the new bus terminal was created in a drastic fashion,
by demolishing the former postal building.
Instead of this tram tunnel with only two tracks,
a new tram station with 4 parallel tracks and 12 stops
will be constructed underneath the railway lines.
We like to call this plan a magic triangle:
Passengers will transfer safely and smoothly
between busses, trams, trains, taxis and bikes,
without hindrance via the shortest possible route
Thousands of bicycles are currently parked in the neighbourhood,
in the open air and with no monitoring system.
In the new complex two separate spacious underground garages
will securely host at least 10,000 bikes.
With access from 5 entrances, via comfortable ramps,
cyclists can leave their bikes at just a short distance
from the railway platforms.
From Maria Hendrika square, a unique sloping garden
will bring daylight and fresh air
to the lower ground bicycle park and to the new taxi stands
and rapid drop-off zone.
Today, more than 2000 passengers make the daily drive to the station
and then have to try and find a parking space
somewhere around the station.
Tomorrow, regardless of whether you take the train,
whether you work in one of the new shops or offices,
or whether you live in one of the new houses,
you will be able to park your car in a 3-storey underground car park,
boasting a capacity of 2800 vehicles.
A relief for the streets adjoining Saint Peters Station.
However, the increased number of passengers cannot lead to more car traffic.
Commuters will have to make maximum use of public transport to get to Saint Peters Station.
Today, you can only reach the station by car through residential streets.
This is not ideal.
We are convinced that smooth access by car is essential
for the development of the entire area.
Consequently, we will construct a new direct connection
between the station and the R4 Ghent ring road.
This will become a major approach road to the station.
Through this new Timicheg tunnel for cars and bikes,
you cross the traintracks underneath
and you arrive in the car park or in the station vicinity.
Free traffic to the heart of the city will be discouraged
however with a severe set of traffic measures.
The construction of the new road involves for us
the obligation to compensate for the loss of nature.
The Overmeers nature reserve will be designed
and opened to the public as a green area of nearly 7 hectares.
The area surrounding Ghent Saint Peters station
is a so-called urban concentration point:
It is a major growth area for working and living,
an area for condensed urban development.
Instead of the wasteland along the Queen Fabiola avenue,
a strip of high quality sustainable new buildings,
with some interesting architectural features will be created.
700 additional living units are planned,
along with approximately 80,000 square metres of office space,
mainly situated at the front, in the immediate vicinity of the railway station.
It will also boast a commercial area as well as sports and leisure facilities.
Queen Fabiola avenue will become a fully fledged avenue
- wider and with a double line of trees
which form part of the green axis between the Citadel park
and the Blaarmeersen recreation zone.
During the first phase lasting until 2010-
Princess Clementina Avenue was given a central bus lane and tramline.
The underground car and bicycle parking is under construction.
We will build the first part of the new bus station as well as
the connection to the R4 ring road.
And two new tunnels underneath the existing railway are being dug.
When cars can use the new Timicheg tunnel,
we will close the old Voskenstunnel.
Then, from 2011, in phase 2, we'll deal with the train station itself.
We 'll finish the busstation, and construct the new tram station.
The embellishment of the streets and squares is included.
The queen Fabiola avenue project will be implemented during this phase.
During the works, Saint Peters railway station
will remain fully accessible to all users.
The infoPoint of Saint Peters railway station
will keep you informed of every alteration.
Project Gent Sint-Pieters