Town bus stops relocated again

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Town centre bus stops in Ballymena have been relocated for a second time by Translink due to the ongoing Public Realm streetscape scheme.

Passengers using the town centre bus service, many of them elderly, are once again temporarily unable to get picked up or dropped off at Wellington Street or Broughshane Street. They now have to make their way to two alternative bus stops which have been designated by Translink until further notice and which will operate services as per the Local Timetable.

A Translink spokesperson said: “Due to public realm works taking place at Ballymena Town Centre, we are unable to operate vehicles on Wellington Street, Broughshane Street or Church Street. Services are currently calling at the old State Picture House site and George’s Street. We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience caused as a result and will reinstate normal operating routes as soon as possible.”

Details about the changes to facilitate pavement works in the centre of the town were also contained in notices posted at the affected bus stops.

The town centre bus stops were initially affected last August but were re-instated by Translink for a time from November following a Christmas moratorium on the multi-million pound streetscape scheme.

The 18-month £4.2m Public Realm Scheme, which is being jointly funded by Mid & East Antrim Council and the Department for Social Development (£2.6m), began in May 2015 and impacts on the four central thoroughfares of Wellington Street, Broughshane Street, Ballymoney Street and Church Street as well as Broadway.

The scheme aims to significantly enhance public space, accessibility and safety within the town centre and is expected to add new vitality to the area.

Its main features include the creation of a main focal point for the town centre and public space at Broadway; the use of high quality materials such as granite kerbs and paving, bespoke street lighting, street furniture and signage and the promotion of a ‘People First’ approach to rebalance pedestrian and traffic requirements.