Parties lobby to improve train station

The cross party delegation from Craigavon council.
The cross party delegation from Craigavon council.

Regional Development representatives have agreed to visit Lurgan Railway Station after a cross party delegation from Craigavon Borough Council lobbied the department to take action.

Deputy Mayor of Craigavon, Councillor Colin McCusker, Councillor Carla Lockhart, chairperson of council’s development committee, Councillor Joe Nelson and Councillor Johnny McGibbon all expressed their concern regarding the “long-standing issues” associated with Lurgan Railway Station.

The development comes after the ‘MAIL’ reported last week that Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly and Alderman Stephen Moutray criticised the department for omitting the town’s train station from a park and ride scheme and a ‘lack of action’ on completing phase two of Millennium Way.

The department has now agreed to send representatives to Lurgan following the cross party’s recent visit to Stormont. “We stressed that while the rail station is an asset for Lurgan, the extent of congestion caused by the level crossing on William Street is unacceptable, particularly given the importance of the road as a key arterial route to and from the M1 motorway”, said Mr McCusker.

“We also pointed out the importance of road and rail links to the achievement of the Regional Development strategy”.

Said Ms Lockhart: “We highlighted the impact of delays on local business and the inadequacy of car parking at the station itself, which regularly results in overflow into local streets.”

Mr McGibbon stressed that while he acknowledged there had been “slight” reduction in ‘downtime’ on Translink’s part. “But (we) advised the committee that this did not represent a solution to the problem, and had in reality made little material difference.

Collectively we need to look at broader and long term solutions,” he added.

Mr Nelson explained: “Overall we presented a compelling argument and put forward a number of suggestions including the idea of advance warning signage for motorists.

“We also agreed that a review of local road and rail infrastructure be undertaken to identify both short and long term measures to address the issues.”

The committee have now agreed to visit Lurgan in September to observe the local transport infrastructure, including Millennium Way.

Local politicians insist they will continue to “work together to ensure that local transportation issues remain firmly on the agenda, and that practical solutions can be delivered”.