Illegal parking claim at Park and Ride site refuted by Translink

TRANSLINK have insisted they are satisfied that their Park and Ride car park in Ballymena is being used legitimately by bus and rail travellers.

The Times was contacted by a number of people - including some disabled users - who claimed that the Princes Street facility is being used as a free car park by workers and shoppers making their way into the town centre.

One woman, who did not wish to be named, said: “I had gone there along with a wheelchair user to get the train to Belfast but when we got to the car park it was absolutely bunged.

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“There wasn’t a space to be had, even among the disabled ones and we ended up having to park away from the station and then walk back to it.

“We were going on the 10am train and there wouldn’t have been any more than a dozen passengers getting on at Ballymena.

“I realise that a lot of people would park there quite legally and head up to Belfast to go to their work from early in the morning but I very much doubt whether every car in that car park belonged to a bus or rail passenger,” the woman added.

In response, Translink told the Times: “The 295-space Park & Ride facility at Princes Street in Ballymena is very popular and heavily utilised by passengers using our services.

“As the facility is unmanned and is free to use, it is possible that some motorists are using the park and ride and continuing their journey into town on foot.

“In order to do this however they would have to walk through the train station where they would be asked for a ticket.

“We are satisfied that the majority of those using the facility are Translink passengers who have recognised the many benefits of using public transport to make their journeys,” the spokesperson added.