Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard officially opened a new improved Park and Ride facility in Ballymoney, Co Antrim.
Work to extend the Ballymoney Park and Ride facility was completed earlier in the Summer and now has an additional 46 parking spaces available bringing the total to 104 spaces including six disabled bays.
Minister Hazzard said:
“This facility is an important element of the Executive’s commitment to promote more sustainable travel, by offering commuters on this corridor an alternative for their journey whether they are travelling towards Belfast or Derry. My Department’s aim in developing this facility is to encourage more people out of their cars and onto public transport at the busiest times of the day, reducing road congestion while saving on fuel and parking charges.
“Last year there were 430,000 passenger movements through Ballymoney Station and this enhanced Park and Ride will be of great benefit to the local North Antrim community. There has been strong growth in rail passenger numbers due to an hourly train timetable from Ballymoney to Belfast / Coleraine. Hopefully this new and improved Park and Ride will attract even more people to choose the train.”
The Minister congratulated Translink and local contractors, McMackin Contracts from Omagh who carried out these works.
Work to extend the Park & Ride facilities at Ballymoney started in October 2015 and was completed in May 2016.
The Minister said:
“Further plans are underway for significant Park & Ride facilities at Portadown and Moira Train Stations subject to the necessary approvals and availability of funding.”
“The Department’s Park & Ride Programme Board 2013-16 has successfully delivered 2,123 Park & Ride and Park & Share spaces, at a cost of just over £9.5 million.”
A recent review of the implementation of Park & Ride projects recommended further development of Park & Ride facilities on key transport corridors with enhanced public transport and active travel connections. The recommendations of the review support the delivery of my Department’s Programme for Government indicators.
“Due to the success of Park and Rides across the north, the Department is currently developing a Strategic Park & Ride Delivery Programme for the next four years which will deliver additional Park & Ride and Park & Share spaces across the north,” added the Minister.
A Park & Ride utilisation survey, undertaken in October 2015, showed that approximately 80% of the spaces on the Belfast Metropolitan Transport Corridors and 66% of the spaces on the Key Transport Corridors were occupied on a daily basis.
Sam Todd, Translink Service Delivery Manager said: “More and more people enjoy the convenience of Park and Ride and this extension is already proving popular with local passengers. We would like to thank the Infrastructure Minister for the essential funding to complete this important project and look forward to attracting more new customers, looking for hassle-free, good value journeys to make smart moves by train from Ballymoney.”