East Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs has welcomed the significant increase in railway passenger numbers on the Larne Line, and suggested that Translink should move swiftly to increase the use of 6 car train sets on express services to accommodate more customers.
Mr Beggs said:
“After being starved of investment for years it is gratifying to note the change for the better for rail passengers under an Ulster Unionist Minister for Regional Development- Danny Kennedy. The new trains and facilities on the Larne line have led to a significant increase in passenger numbers using the railway line. Figures given to me as an answer to a question I placed in the Assembly show that the latest monthly passenger numbers for the Larne line have increased by nearly 21,000 compared to the equivalent time period just one year ago. I always said ‘provide the service and the passengers will return’, and so it has proved.”
The cumulative passenger numbers on the Larne Line up to the end of ‘period 11’ in the financial year just ended were 2,119,960, an increase of 196,545 over the equivalent period in 2011/12 (1,923,415).
The UUP MLA added:
“Ironically with the increase in rail passenger numbers, Translink could become victims of their own success. I am getting reports from constituents of there being ‘standing room only’ on some peak services. Therefore, in light of the newly published passenger figures, and the platform extension programme at stations along the Larne Line, I am calling on Translink to move swiftly to introduce six car sets to increase capacity on peak network services .”
Note to editors
Express services/ six car sets