Ulster Unionist Transport Minister Danny Kennedy today announced the development of over 300 new Park & Ride and Park & Share spaces at three Northern Ireland sites – Newtownabbey, Omagh and Coleraine.
The Minister said: “Park and Ride facilities are rapidly growing in popularity. The creation of an additional 312 spaces for Park and Ride and Park and Share will provide an attractive alternative for car drivers in Newtownabbey, Omagh, Coleraine and the surrounding areas.
“Last year my Department published a Strategic Review of Park and Ride, which recognised the need to integrate with Translink bus and rail services. That report highlighted the importance of Park and Ride and Park and Share in promoting sustainable transport.”
The new spaces will be provided at the Ballyhenry Road in Newtownabbey, the Crevenagh Road in Omagh and at the Bus and Rail Centre in Coleraine.
At the Ballyhenry Road in Newtownabbey, a new site will be constructed by Roads Service between Dorchester Drive and Sandyknowes Roundabout. This will provide 90 Park & Ride spaces and will be served by Translink’s existing Metro ‘City Express’ service.
“Parking will be free at the site which is expected to be open by April 2013. The scheme will provide an alternative for private car commuters that currently pass the site approaching the Sandyknowes roundabout to join the M2 for their journey into Belfast. The scheme, which recently was given planning approval, will cost £250,000 and construction is planned to commence before Christmas,” said Mr Kennedy.
There will be an extension to the existing Park & Ride/Park & Share site located on the A505 Crevenagh Road, Omagh between the A5 Great Northern Road/A5 Doogary Road Roundabout and the U3016 Irishtown Road/A505 Crevenagh Road Roundabout.
This site is currently heavily used and the scheme will provide 177 additional parking spaces for drivers wishing to avail of the opportunity of sharing transport or utilising the Goldliner Service to Belfast.
The Minister said: “This extension will provide extra spaces for people wishing to avail of the opportunity of sharing transport or utilising the Goldliner Service to Belfast. The scheme will cost £250,000 and funding has been identified to deliver it within the current financial year."
There will also be an extension to the existing Park & Ride facilities at the integrated Bus and Rail Centre in Coleraine.
Mr Kennedy said: “This scheme, which is being taken forward by Translink, will provide an additional 45 Park & Ride spaces, taking the total to 71 spaces. The project will cost over £300,000 and is expected to be completed by August 2013.
“These additional spaces are part of my Department’s ongoing commitment to encourage sustainable travel. In conjunction with Translink we will continue to improve the availability of Park and Ride and Park and Share facilities throughout Northern Ireland.”