Park and ride being considered for the town

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A massive park-and-ride facility at Portadown train station – costing in the region of £3 million – should be in place by next year.

And areas in and around Lurgan and Banbridge are also being considered for park-and-ride facilities.

The Portadown scheme should help alleviate traffic congestion. It will consist of 340 parking spaces and associated facilities and be located on land beside the train station, which was also recently upgraded.

Translink has already appointed a design team for the development and has “very advanced plans” for the scheme.

And several meetings between Translink and Transport NI – which owns the site – have been described as “very successful” by the Minister in charge.

Michelle McIlveen was giving an update on the eagerly-awaited proposals in the Assembly to Upper Bann DUP MLA Sydney Anderson.

The Minister said the next step was to hold a pre-planning meeting with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

Minister McIlveen said it was hoped, after that meeting had taken place, to have a planning application for the development put in place by the middle of this year.

If all goes according to plan, work could start before the end of the year or, if not, by 2017.

The Minister also said she understood “that areas in and around Lurgan and Banbridge are also being considered for park-and-ride facilities.”