There is still uncertainty over the future of the bus station in Ballyclare, as discussions between local representatives and Translink continue.
Rumours are currently rife in the town that the station has been earmarked for closure.
Translink previously stated that the station will remain open, but the company says it is still in discussions with local representatives about the future of the depot.
DUP South Antrim MLA Paul Girvan met with the Northern Area Manager of Translink, Simon Corrigan on Tuesday (December 15).
Mr Girvan said: “I found the meeting to be very informative and I welcomed the opportunity to lay all the concerns on the table. Concerns had been raised with regards to the bus station and also to do with proposed changes to service schedules. The meeting was very productive and I welcome the commitment given by Mr Corrigan to take all the matters raised on-board and report back. I also highlighted the prospect of additional users, due to the growth of public housing schemes commencing within the Ballyclare, Doagh and Ballynure areas.
“I urged Mr Corrigan to ensure that adequate services would be provided to meet the possible growth in need.”
UUP Cllr David Arthurs said that he had been in contact with Translink, who had assured him that the bus services would continue in the area. He added: “I received notification from Translink on Tuesday, December 1 stating that the services would continue in the town. There had been concern that there would be further cutbacks to the service provided, but Translink have told me that bus services will continue. The station will close for the Christmas holidays on Saturday, December 19 and will reopen on Monday, January 4 2016. While the station is closed, services will still be provided, including a regular bus service and the park and ride facilities.”
PUP representative Scott McDowell believes the service currently being provided is unacceptable and has called for improvements to be made.
“Some passengers are having problems with buses either driving past them at stops, or in some cases buses not turning up at stops. I find this totally unacceptable for the people of Ballyclare given the fact that 1800 new homes are to be built. It is extremely important that we have a proper, sustainable bus service here in the town. It is a lifeline for many in the town and I would hope any problems can be ironed out,” he said.
A Translink spokesperson said: ““We are currently in discussions with local stakeholders regarding opening hours at Ballyclare bus station.”