Translink has announced a special transport plan for The 148th Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club, July 14-21.
Visitors to The Open are encouraged to consider using public transport which is being significantly enhanced and Translink Group Chief Executive Chris Conway says they should plan their travel in advance, leave extra time for journeys and choose from a range of bus, coach, train and The R&A Park & Ride options:
“The long-awaited return of the Championship to Northern Ireland is an excellent opportunity to showcase the Causeway Coast & Glens to a worldwide audience,” said Chris.
“With tens of thousands of fans heading to the North Coast to watch the world’s greatest golfers, we want to deliver hassle-free journeys, reduce traffic congestion and ensure everyone enjoys their visit to this stunning visitor destination.
“We’ve put in place attractive public transport and good value tickets including online booking options for special services to get people safely to and from Portrush. Full details are available at www.translink.co.uk/the148thopen/ .
“We’re also working hard to complete construction of our new Portrush Train Station to give spectators a warm welcome and look forward to bringing thousands of additional visitors to the Causeway Coast to enjoy all the Championship action.”
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Brenda Chivers said: “The 148th Open is set to be a huge occasion for the Borough which will attract thousands of spectators throughout the week. The on-course action will be complemented by fun filled entertainment for all in Portrush and beyond which will showcase our unique destination at its very best.
“We have worked closely with all our partners to ensure that travel to The Open is seamless and straightforward. With a range of convenient public transport options in place I would encourage everyone to plan their journey in advance and we look forward to welcoming you in July and sharing this historic occasion with you all.”
John McGrillen Chief Executive Tourism NI said: “The return of The Open for the first time since 1951 is shaping up to be the biggest event ever held in Northern Ireland. Tourism NI has been working closely with Translink and other partners to ensure the smooth running of the tournament for the 215,000 anticipated spectators and visitors who will attend.
“For any major event, ease of getting to and from the destination plays an important part in a visitor’s overall experience. I am confident that the transport plan announced by Translink today will help ensure that visitors have a very enjoyable experience at The Open from start to finish.”
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said: “We have been working closely with the transport agencies in Northern Ireland to determine how they can best support our plans to transit fans to and from Portrush with a range of travel options, including our own Park and Ride facilities.
“The Open is only a matter of weeks away now and we would encourage fans to plan ahead and make their travel arrangements for getting to and from Portrush well in advance of coming to the Championship in July.”
PSNI Superintendent John Magill said: “A significant amount of planning has gone into the traffic and transport arrangements and we would encourage everyone attending to familiarise themselves with the various options available ahead of time. The policing operation is very much about supporting our partners to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time.”
From July 14-21, there will be enhanced capacity on normal train services plus additional early morning trains from Belfast and additional evening services from Portrush and Coleraine. Passengers coming from Belfast can also travel direct to Portrush without changing trains. There’s an hourly train service and enhanced capacity from Derry~Londonderry to Coleraine plus additional early morning services and a convenient Portrush bus connection.
Special day return coaches will operate between Europa Buscentre in Belfast to Portrush. Spectators can also choose the Goldline 218 coach service from Belfast or 234 service from Derry~Londonderry to Coleraine with onward Portrush bus connection.
Local Ulsterbus 140 services travelling between Coleraine, Portrush and Portstewart will also be enhanced and stop at major caravan/camping sites along the route. An additional morning and evening service will also operate on both Ulsterbus 402 between Coleraine, Portrush and Ballycastle and Ulsterbus 134 between Coleraine and Limavady.
For full details on Translink timetables and ticket options including online booking for selected services visit www.translink.co.uk/the148thopen/ or call 028 90 66 66 30. For the latest Translink travel updates follow @Translink_NI #OpenTravel .