‘Let cars share bus stop layby’

Calls for layby change at railway station.
Calls for layby change at railway station.

A frustrated motorist has called for the parking regulations at a layby on the Northway to be changed.

The man had parked in the layby beside the train station to pick up his wife two weeks ago but he, along with other drivers, were moved on by a traffic warden who said it was a bus stop.

The layby, which is around 100 metres long, is used regularly by dozens of motorists and taxi drivers dropping off or collecting train passengers.

The man explained, “The train arrived at 4.18pm exactly. I saw it arrive as I parked.”

However, at the same time a traffic warden knocked his car window and told him to move on.

When the motorist pointed out that the passengers were already getting off and asked to be allowed to wait another minute, he said he was threatened with a ticket.

He added, “I spent 10 minutes accessing the station car park via Mill Avenue, with busy traffic as usual on a Friday afternoon.

“I couldn’t advise my wife by mobile phone as I was driving and couldn’t find a safe place to stop. My wife, meanwhile, was left standing in the heavy rain with shopping wondering where I had got to.”

He said he also found the station car park full but all the drop-off and pick-up laybys occupied with no drivers in them.

The man, who was otherwise complimentary of the Translink services, said the use of the layby by buses is “minimal” - just 10 times daily and twice on Saturday according to the timetable.

He is asking Translink and Transport NI to allow part of the layby to be used for short-term parking by cars.

A Translink spokesperson said, “There is a car park for passenger use at Portadown station which includes a pick-up and set down area.

“We would recommend that motorists waiting to drop off or pick up passengers at the railway station use the adjacent car park.

“There are no plans to change the status of the bus stop.”