'˜Buses not using station to minimise stopping time'

Translink has confirmed that its Belfast to Dublin bus service stops outside Banbridge bus depot in order to 'minimise stopping time.'

The public transport provider was responding to concerns about the safety of passengers boarding and exiting the bus near the corner of Kenlis Street - just yards from the town’s new bus station.

Several people commenting on social media this week raised questions about why the Belfast - Dublin bus, and the local Ulsterbus service to Rathfriland via Annaclone, pick up and drop off at Kenlis Street rather than using the nearby depot.

One woman claimed that passengers “having to pick up their luggage out of bus whilst out on roadside is an accident waiting to happen.”

Others questioned the point of having a new bus station if services are having to stop on the road outside.

Responding to the queries, a Translink spokesperson said: “The bus stop for Belfast to Dublin X1 and X2 services in Banbridge is just outside the bus station on Kenlis Street.

“The Belfast to Dublin services are categorised as longer-distance cross-border services and in order to minimise stopping time and maintain the existing timetable, this service was retained from the bus stop on Kenlis Street outside the new station. This arrangement reduces stopping time and expedites their journey through Banbridge.”

She continued: “Passengers can utilise the station waiting facilities or wait at the dedicated shelter on Kenlis Street which is approximately 50 metres from the bus station.”

Clarifying why the Annaclone bus doesn’t use the station, the spokesperson added: “The Rathfriland via Annaclone service also operates from the same stop on Kenlis Street. This service traditionally operated from this location and it keeps it separate from the other routes to Rathfriland which operate from stands within the station.”

For more information about Translink services telephone 0 28 9066 6630.