More Park & Ride spaces for Antrim commuters
REGIONAL Development Minister Danny Kennedy visted Antrim last week to open extended Park & Ride facilities at Translink’s Antrim station.
The Minister travelled on the last of the 20 new trains to enter service, to open Antrim station’s Park and Ride.
The extended Park & Ride facilities will provide a total of 180 car parking spaces for commuters using the Antrim station.
This extension is part of a wider £2.9million investment to deliver Translink’s integrated rail and bus facility, which is part-funded through the Sustainable Stations Project (SUSstations), with EU Interreg IVB North West Europe Programme (NWE) support of €660,000 (£568,194).
Arriving in Antrim station, on the new train’s first passenger journey, Mr Kennedy said: “The 20 new trains, which are part of the £150million investment in the New Trains Programme, are now in passenger service on busy commuter services across Northern Ireland, including the Antrim line. The new trains will pave the way for increased frequencies and capacity on the network.
“[This] announcement sees the completion of the first two phases of the £2.9million redevelopment of the integrated Antrim Rail and Bus Station.
“The newly extended Park & Ride facility will provide a total of 180 much needed spaces for commuters using this busy station. An extension to the bus yard and Belfast bound platform waiting area has also been completed.
“When the work on the main station is finished in autumn, 2013, it will provide, not only, superb new facilities for passengers but it will be the first environmentally sustainable, low carbon station, in Northern Ireland.”
Catherine Mason, Group Chief Executive, said: “Our Property Team has been working hard to deliver this project. The timely completion of this extended park and ride facility now makes it even easier for our customers to interchange between the car and train or bus.
“Together with our new trains and range of value for money tickets for both commuters and leisure travellers, using rail or bus is a very attractive travel option, particularly when compared to private motoring and car parking fees.
“This is a very exciting project. As Business in the Community (NI) Biodiversity Champion, I am particularly pleased that we are leading the way in sustainable station development with the new facility to boast some of the latest environmental features such as solar panels; natural ventilation system and a naturally insulated green roof. We have already had great interest and support from local schools and the wider community who are all looking forward to the completion of this new integrated bus and train station. We are also very grateful for the funding from the DRD and the European Union, INTERREG IVB programme to deliver this important project”.
Mr Kennedy added: “Last year the Department for Regional Development published a Strategic Review of Park & Ride, which recognised the need to integrate with Translink bus and rail services. That report highlighted the importance of Park and Ride in promoting sustainable transport.
“I want to thank the European Union, through its INTERREG IVB programme, for the continued support in investing in Northern Ireland’s public transport infrastructure. I also want to thank the Sustainable Station Project for inviting Translink to be part of the programme.”
South Antrim DUP MP William McCrea was delighted to join the Mayor of Antrim and other elected representatives in welcoming the Minister for Regional Development to Antrim Bus & Rail Centre on Thursday afternoon.
“It was my pleasure as Member of Parliament to be among those welcoming the DRD Minister, Danny Kennedy MLA, to Antrim to view developments at the construction site for Antrim’s new integrated bus and rail centre, including the extended Park and Ride facilities which will provide a total of 180 car parking spaces and is a very welcome development at the station,” he said.
He added: “This is a tremendous investment in Antrim town by Translink and I have no doubt that the completed project will serve to promote the use of public transport and attract new customers.
“The community looks forward to the completion of this new facility, and I thank the Minister for his interest in the project, and trust that the community will appreciate that their new facility will boast of some of the latest environmental features to be found anywhere in the province.”
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Weather for Antrim
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 10 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: South