Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Its not a mirage the city does finally have a bus station

The new bus station at the junction of Smithfield and Hillsborough Road.

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 the public.

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.

The information desk in the new buscentre

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 services.

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 Centre.

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 it.

Givan calls for Dublin coaches to serve new Buscentre

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.

Ulster Star