East Antrim Ulster Unionist Party MLA, Roy Beggs has been encouraged when reading the new train timetable for the Larne Line, taking effect on Sunday 6th January.
Commenting, Beggs said;
“Following fears that there may be a less frequent rail service supplied to Larne Town, I am encouraged that this has not been the case. In the new Larne Line timetable, Translink indicate they will run a service from Larne Town on a largely hourly basis. This is very welcome news for commuters from Larne who may have been anxious in regard to the provision of train services in future. ”
During previous consultations Translink had indicated that the early morning train from Larne and the frequency of service away from the busy commuter times were under threat of being removed. The Larne Line Passenger Group lead a Use It or Lose It campaign to encourage more passengers to use the local service to and from Larne.
The Ulster Unionist MLA continued;
“Those travelling from Whitehead will benefit from an extra 6 trains departing each weekday. In Carrickfergus, Translink have announced commuter friendly changes to the timetable, resulting in an improved service to the area.”
With the new CAF4000 trains operating on the Larne Line, there is now an ability to couple the trains and so increase the capacity during the busy commuter periods.
Roy Beggs said;
“Given the growing number of rail users, an increased passenger capacity is badly needed. With the A8 road widening scheme already underway and the A2 scheme beginning later this year, there is a potential for increased congestion. The increased capacity will be welcome news for rail users who live in East Antrim.
“I welcome the investment that the Minister, Danny Kennedy, has made in public transport in East Antrim and hope that constituents will avail of the improved train service which is on offer. I also welcome the decision to extend free Park & Ride car parking to the St Brides Street Car Park, given that other local Park & Ride is already operating at capacity.”