The new bus station at the junction of
Smithfield and Hillsborough Road.
IT HAS been talked about for years and dreamed about by the
legions of brave souls who stood in the cold and the rain
waiting for the bus. And finally on Monday it happened.
Lisburn's new buscentre opened its doors to
And the manager of the new state of the art
centre said they were already surprised by the high volume of
passengers who used it on Monday, more than 4000 people passed
through its doors.
Mr. Jim McCauley now believes the Buscentre
may have to cater for as many as 9000 passengers every day
during school term time.
"I was surprised by how many people came
through the building on Monday but when you think about it prior
to this we had eight stops in total scattered around the centre
of Lisburn. This meant we never really saw all the passengers
together," he said.
The opening of the new Buscentre came in the
same week Mr. McCauley notched up 23 years with Translink.
He began his career as a driver based in
Dromara before moving to the position of Inspector in Lisburn.
Three years ago he became District Controller for the entire
Lisburn area which takes in Dromara, Dromore and Crumlin.
He is responsible for 12 staff in the
Busccentre itself and a total of 88 drivers who are still based
at the garages on Hillsborough Road.
Mr. McCauley explained the Buscentre will
open at 7am and close each night at 8pm
Passengers can board at new stops erected on
Hillsborough Road at other times.
All buses travelling from Lisburn into
Belfast now call at the new Buscentre and electronic monitors
make it easy for people to see times. These also give details of
all other buses including the local 325 A to L Lisburn City
The opening of the new Buscentre has
coincided with the publication of the new Lisburn area
timetable. Mr. McCauley said the timetable included maps of the
325 routes and details of other buses travelling along them to
allow people to most effectively plan their journeys.
The Buscentre Manager is keen to see bus
travel made as efficient as possible and said he would like bus
lanes right along the route from Lisburn into Belfast City
He would also like to see a new ticketing
system with greater use being made of pre-payment allowing
people to interchange between train and bus with fares set on a
zonal basis. This would operate in a similar way to London's
Oyster Card system.
He explained a working group was currently looking at whole
issue of ticketing and he intended to raise these issues with
Givan calls for Dublin coaches to serve new
THE Chairman of the City Council's Corporate Services
Committee, Councillor Paul Givan, took the opportunity presented
by the opening of the new Buscentre to call once again for
Dublin to Belfast express coaches to serve the centre of Lisburn.
He said the council has asked for Belfast bound coaches to
call at the new Buscentre after 6.00pm as they believed Lisburn
should be included on their route.
Mr. Givan described the new facility as
"another sign of progressiveness and economic prosperity.
"The bus station is required to meet a clear
need for Lisburn residents, and of course for those who travel
to the city on business or pleasure," he continued.
"I hope to see footfall in the City increase.
Lisburn offers some of the Province's most superior shopping and
attracts many people due to its breadth of retail choice. I hope
the new Bus Station is of benefit to the Tourism industry as
well, as with the summer months approaching there is plenty of
choice for activities in Lisburn."
Mr. Givan said he wished Translink every success with the
Buscentre and paid tribute to the company and elected
representatives who had 'lobbied hard' for the new facility.