WORK has started on a new park and ride facility at Jordanstown train station.
The £600,000 scheme, which will provide 61 car parking spaces including three disabled bays, is scheduled to open to the public in September.
Train operator Translink has appointed Cleary Contracting to carry out the work on the car park, which will be accessible from Lynda Avenue.
The facility, which will have secure fencing, gates, new lighting, signage and CCTV cameras, is expected to be in high demand when work begins on the new A2 Belfast to Carrickfergus dual-carriageway project.
Route Manager Frank Moore said: “We are pleased to announce that Cleary Contracting will deliver this project which we aim to complete in September in line with the busy Autumn commuter period.
“Train travel in Northern Ireland continues to be extremely popular and with the arrival of 20 new Class 4000 trains, this trend is set to continue. Larne Line passengers have already provided very positive feedback on these new trains which offer great reliability and comfort.”
He added: “We have already seen an increase in patronage since their introduction on the line and we expect to attract more passengers on board, particularly with the A2 roadworks planned for next year.
“Park and ride facilities make rail services more attractive, accessible and provide meaningful integration for our customers.
“Jordanstown is a busy station and there is demand from commuters for a park and ride that will give people better convenience and peace of mind that their car is left in a safe location whether they are travelling by train for work or leisure.
“This will also help tackle the issue of car parking along the Jordanstown Road and neighbouring streets.
“The new facility will be easily accessible from Lynda Avenue and there will also be pedestrian access from the car park to the station platform.
“We would ask for the continued support and patience of the local community and our customers as we work hard to improve local rail services.”
Welcoming the start of the work, local MLA Roy Beggs commented: “Many commuters live beyond walking distance from their local railway station and the provision of improved park and ride facilities is vital to encourage greater use of public transport.
“I am aware that the lack of car parking provision around Jordanstown has caused tension with residents in the past and so I believe this new park and ride facility will also be welcomed by all.
“The new CAF 4000 trains which are now operating on the Larne line are proving to be very popular and are encouraging even more people to avoid the traffic congestion and Belfast car parking costs. The provision of additional park and ride facilities will enable even more people to take the benefits of travelling by train.”