£3 million park and ride scheme is on track

Vacant land at Obins Street. INPT02-102gc
Vacant land at Obins Street. INPT02-102gc

Construction on a new £3 million park and ride facility in Portadown is expected to begin within the next financial year.

Translink confirmed it has appointed a design team to plan the new 340-space project at the junction of Corcrain Road and Northway, known as the Bodega Junction.

A spokesperson said, “Our design team is working closely with Transport NI, who currently own the land, to develop traffic plans for the new road junctions.”

She added that the scheme will be subject to successful pre-planning consultation, planning approvals and the availability of funding.

It will be funded by the Department of Regional Development (DRD) and delivered by Translink.

The position was confirmed by DRD Minister Michelle McIlveen in response to a question in the Assembly by MLA Sydney Anderson.

Said Mr Anderson, “I have also been informed that the next stage of this proposed development encompasses a pre-planning meeting with ABC Council, with the hope that a planning application will be submitted sometime in the middle of 2016.

“I am fully committed to working alongside all relevant stakeholders to ensure that this project takes place.”

Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd also said he had had a “very productive” meeting with Minister McIlveen.

He said, “Minister McIlveen has confirmed to me that the scheme is still a priority for DRD, hoping to be able to make the £3m investment required to complete the project in the 2016/17 financial year.

“The location of Curran Street so close to Portadown train station makes it an ideal location for such a facility. Residents in Park Road and Obins Street will be only too aware of the number of cars that are parked in their streets by rail commuters and will welcome a facility which can have a positive impact on the number of vehicles outside their homes.”

He added, “Curran Street lay as waste ground for several decades and had been a blight on the landscape. We are now witnessing real change.

“On one part of the site we have state-of-the-art social housing with the possibility of further building, and now on another part of the site a car park which benefits public transport and the local community by removing a traffic log jam from Park Road and Obins Street.

“The nearby park has been transformed and lobbying continues to improve environmental features around the tunnel.”

The park and ride scheme has been extended since it was announced at least two years ago. The original plan was for a £1.9m facility with 200 free spaces for commuters.