Calls for bus depot

An Ulsterbus without a driver parked at a bus stop outside the Post Office in Market St, Lurgan
An Ulsterbus without a driver parked at a bus stop outside the Post Office in Market St, Lurgan

A CALL for a depot has been made after much criticism of buses blocking Lurgan’s Market Street at designated stops.

Former President of Lurgan Chamber of Commerce and member of Lurgan Forward Charlie Gardiner said traffic flow is a major issue for the town.

Mr Gardiner was responding to comments in the ‘MAIL’ last week and assured Lurgan that the Chamber and Lurgan Forward was actively lobbying to improve the situation.

“The public realm work, like it or loathe it, was phase one and therefore part of a bigger strategy. Taken in isolation as it was, there were always going to be issues with other parts of infrastructure within the town,” said Mr Gardiner.

“It has become obvious that the original plan for a roundabout at the Edward Street and Millennium Way junction was the correct one, and political representatives along with Lurgan Forward and the Chamber are urgently seeking this issue to be addressed,” he said.

“Another major issue which causes severe disruption in Church Place is the railway gate closures. When the new safety system that has been lobbied for is in place early next year this will greatly ease the congestion right up into Church Place. At long last the railway saga in Lurgan is being taken seriously by the statutory bodies,” said Mr Gardiner.

“Parking chaos is still a problem, however, this too can be resolved. Very soon the taxi companies will have taxi ranks which should not only provide a better service to the public but ease traffic flow.

“The biggest issue, as seen by the Chamber of Commerce and Lurgan Forward, is the fact that the centre of Market Street is being used as a bus depot by Translink,” he said.

“There is a great need for bus stops in the town centre to facilitate the public and they must be retained. However, there is a dire need for a bus depot where buses can park rather than park in the designated bus stops which are for pick-up and drop off.

“A strong lobbying process has begun by Lurgan Forward and the Chamber of Commerce to achieve this and has the backing of cross party political support. This issue will be brought as far as Ministerial level at Stormont in the near future.

“It is good when the public air their views as was done in last week’s ‘MAIL’ as it gives a direction and a mandate for what is being done to improve every aspect of Lurgan.”

A Translink spokesperson said:: “Translink is aware of some congestion issues in Lurgan town centre and we have been working with local representatives to try to remedy this.

“To date we have been unable to identify a suitable location for a bus station in Lurgan and due to funding constraints, we are currently unable to progress any plans to pursue this project.”