Support for Ballycarry Railway Station improvements

Local residents vote in support of improvements at Ballycarry Railway Station. INLT-06-705-con
Local residents vote in support of improvements at Ballycarry Railway Station. INLT-06-705-con

Ballycarry residents have voiced their support for road safety improvements at Ballycarry Railway Station during a public meeting.

The meeting, organised by Larne Line Passenger Group (LLPG) and Transport NI, took place at Ballycarry Community Centre on January 29.

LLPG was set up ten years ago by train users who wanted to see improved services for passengers on the Larne Line.

The group is lobbying to introduce improvements consisting of a continuous footpath on the Larne side of the bridge, a small section of disabled-friendly width footpath on the other side of the bridge and a safe crossing point for pedestrians of all ages.

They propose that the width of the bridge be narrowed down to one lane, with a set of intelligent traffic lights to regulate traffic.

The group’s ultimate aim is to enable future improvements such as a drop off and pick up point, park and ride facilities and a footbridge.

The meeting was attended by approximately 60 people, 51 of whom signed in favour of the proposed scheme. A small number voiced concerns over the impact on slowing traffic, the current scheme not including for a pick-up and drop-off point and the perceived lack of co-ordination between DRD, Larne Council and Translink.

There was support for adding a pick-up and drop-off facility or turning point as well as developing a park and ride facility at the station in the near future.

Many of those at the meeting stated that they currently have to use Whitehead Station due to poor access, fear of being knocked down and lack of parking at Ballycarry Station.

The day before the meeting, a train commuter crossing the bridge was hospitalised after being hit and injured by a van as he crossed over the bridge.

Chair of LLPG Elena Aceves-Cully stated: “This is a key step in making this area safe for pedestrians and vehicles, after many years of near misses and minor collisions. This is an area of major risk and we cannot afford to have someone injured as they cross they station. Many local residents have told us that if there was safe foot access they would consider using the station. Traffic lights may create some inconvenience to vehicle users, however this will be just a matter of seconds, as they will only close when vehicles approach the other side. We are aware DRD’s budget is facing major cuts and we acknowledge this is the best that can be achieved with the finances available.”