Campaigners welcome support for Ballycarry park and ride project

A show of hands at a public meeting in January 2015 in support of  pedestrian safety improvements and a park and ride at Ballycarry Station.
A show of hands at a public meeting in January 2015 in support of pedestrian safety improvements and a park and ride at Ballycarry Station.

The Larne Line Passenger Group (LLPG) has joined forces with voices urging Translink to speed up the process for a park and ride facility at Ballycarry Railway Station.

Further to East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson’s recent comments that an ideal site is available to implement the proposal for a new park and ride, LLPG says it “wants to see public pressure from other politicians and Mid and East Antrim Council to make sure this scheme gets the green light as soon as possible”.

Ballycarry Railway Station.

Ballycarry Railway Station.

The group started to lobby for this scheme back in 2007 and has also pushed for improvements to the station’s railway bridge and investment for a pick-up/drop off/turning point.

These improvements, it states, would have major positive impacts for this whole area, including Islandmagee, Ballycarry, Whitehead and Larne Lough as a whole, as Whitehead park and ride is oversubscribed. It would also be of major benefit for those visiting the Gobbins who may not have their own private transport.

Elena Aceves-Cully, chair of LLPG, said: “A park and ride, which we are confident will quickly increase passenger figures at Ballycarry, will justify the case for improved frequency of services from Ballycarry to Larne, a section of the line which was very negatively affected by Translink’s cuts implemented in the autumn of 2015.”

She added: “We also welcome another forthcoming park and ride at Trooperslane, which is due to commence in September 2020. This scheme appears to be at the procurement stage and once completed, it would provide an attractive public transport option for the Greenisland, Trooperslane, Straid and Carrickfergus areas.”

Earlier this month, Mr Wilson called for the public transport operator to fund the park and ride project. He said: “Translink have invested in park and ride schemes previously along the line from Belfast to Whitehead and they have proven to be a major success. Whilst Translink have suffered from finding suitable land for a park and ride scheme in the past, there is ideal land situated near the station in Ballycarry which would be suited.”

Responding to the DUP man’s comments, Translink said it was in the early stages of looking at options for the facility, which would be dependent on land acquisiiton and funding approval