New Straid bus stop leaves locals ‘isolated’

Georgina Christie at the Calhame Road bus stop. INNT 38-200-AM
Georgina Christie at the Calhame Road bus stop. INNT 38-200-AM

A Calhame Road woman says she feels “isolated” after a new bus stop outside her house was not incorporated into the local bus route.

The structure, built by Transport NI, is being used solely as a drop off and pick up location for school services, while the frequency of the 156 bus which previously stopped at the end of the Calhame Road has been reduced as part of Translink cuts.

Georgina Christie, who has lived on the road for 30 years, told the Times: “I used to be able to go to the bottom of the road and the 156 picked me up, now since the new timetable came in I have to go to Ballyclare.

“The bus stop was built recently and it’s a disgrace that buses for local residents don’t stop there. I’m not very well and I depend on the buses.

“They must have lots of money to build that bus stop but it’s hardly being used at all.”

A Translink spokeswoman said the organisation had “worked hard to protect the geographic coverage of the network” following its passenger consultation.

“There are some frequency reductions to a number of services and some services have been retimed,” she continued.

“Our 156 and 153 routes do not pass the shelter so it is not in use for these services.

“The 156 service still operates with a reduced frequency. School pupils are currently dropped off and picked up at this bus shelter.”

A TransportNI spokeswoman commented: “The provision of a bus lay by was provided as part of the wider A8 dualling scheme.

“The price was included within the cost of the provision of the complete junction at this location.”