Bus station could finally be on its way

TRANSLINK have confirmed they are working with Roads Service to look at finally providing a bus station for Banbridge.

The transport body’s chief executive Catherine Mason met with the Assembly’s Regional Development Committee last week to discuss the long-running issue of whether the town will get its own bus station.

It is hoped land at Townsend Street could be used to host the station. But while Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly welcomed “the freeing up of land on which to build the station” Translink refused to confirm whether land is actually available.

A spokeswoman told the Leader, “Translink continues to work with the cooperation of DRD Roads Service to facilitate availability of land for the proposed off street bus facility at Banbridge.”

She said any progress will depend heavily on funding.

“We are currently developing a preliminary cost analysis for the project. Any option for a new facility would be subject to funding.”

Developers at Bridgewater Park said, around the time they put forward an application for further construction at the retail site near the Outlet, that they would provide funding for the bus station.

Mrs Kelly said the bus station is a necessary service in Banbridge and will ease congestion in the town centre.

“Presently, Banbridge has terrible traffic congestion as buses have very little space to park and this is a nightmare for drivers at peak times,” she said.

“The construction of a new station would also make more parking spaces available in the town centre for people and would consequently be better for local businesses.

“We have been lobbying government for a new bus station for Banbridge town centre for many years and I’m pleased to hear that there may have been a step-change from Translink on its development.

“The SDLP will continue to push forward for the construction of a bus station in Banbridge to improve transport for people living in and visiting the town.”