Tag Archives: Coleraine Borough Council

Coleraine Council welcome improved railway line

Coleraine Borough Council met in the council offices in Cloonavin on Tuesday 19th February 2013 at 6.30pm.

Deputy Mayor Alderman Creelman, chairman for the evening, opened proceedings by welcoming everyone to the meeting.

The first item of business was an update from the General Manager of Rail Services in Translink, Mr Mal McGreevy. He addressed the council on the upcoming opening of the improved Coleraine and Londonderry/Derry rail line.

Mr McGreevy revealed twenty new trains will operate on this line, as opposed to the original thirteen.

In response to the 70% increase in passengers travelling on trains between Belfast and Coleraine, Mr McGreevy stressed, “It was necessary to implement a new timetable that would see trains running hourly.” Trains have been increased from eleven to nineteen per day, Monday to Friday and eight on a Sunday.

Mr McGreevy told the chamber, “The line will reopen one week ahead of schedule on 24th March 2013”, while adding this had been, “A challenging programme.”

Councillor McClarty extended his praise of the reopening to the gathered councillors, commenting that not many years ago the prediction for the line was demise, but now he is pleased that there is, “A bright future ahead for the railways of Northern Ireland.” Making reference to the service provided by Translink, he further added, “The service is now tremendous” and that he was, “Looking forward to travelling on the improved line.”

Councillors heard how Translink have installed new technology, enabling passengers to access a ‘wifi’ network when travelling. This new service will allow passengers to connect to the internet free of charge whilst on the move, giving them the opportunity to check emails, browse social network sites or catch up on work whilst travelling with Translink. The new scheme was widely praised by the majority of the gathered councillors and it was commented that this added a new incentive for people to use public transport.

Councillor Barbour echoed this praise by adding he thought it was a, “Great idea to be able to use computers on a train.” He also made the comparison that this wifi scheme would help to, “Enhance our tourist rate” and, “Help us economically.”

Mayor, Councillor Cole ended the item of business by commenting, “I cannot wait to get using my free pass to try out the line.”

The meeting continued by following the next item of business on the agenda.

Councillors pleased with improvements to North Coast rail lines

BY JAYNE MCCORMACK

The Derry/Londonderry train line has seen a "major refurbishment"
The Derry/Londonderry train line has seen a “major refurbishment”

Coleraine councillors were told of the huge transformation to the North Coast’s railway system at their meeting on Tuesday, 19 February.

Mal McGreevy, general manager of rail services at Translink, said that there had been a 70% increase in the number of trains operating between Belfast to Coleraine and Coleraine to Belfast.

He told councillors that Translink was “very grateful to Coleraine” and that the new timetable, which came into effect on 6 January 2013, meant that there were now 19 trains operating to Coleraine every weekday, with 16 operating on Saturdays and at least 7 on Sundays – a huge boost for the town’s transport.

Councillors were also pleased to hear that passenger numbers were up 10-15% from last year.

Mr McGreevy spoke about the re-opening of part of the Derry/Londonderry line, which has undergone a “major refurbishment” and confirmed that the line would be accessible again from Saturday, 24 March, a week ahead of schedule.

He said the first morning train would arrive in Derry/Londonderry at 8.25am on Monday, 25 March and added, “There has never been a train arriving in Derry/Londonderry before 9am before.”

Cllr David Harding was the first to commend Translink for their efforts. He said, “The people of Castlerock are excited, and people out there have missed the line badly.”

Cllr David McClarty said, “Not too long ago we were predicting the demise of railway in Northern Ireland and now it has been totally resurrected.”

Another issue high on the agenda was the 2013 Somme Association pilgrimage to the Somme, France from 28 June to 2 July.

The pilgrimage will mark the 97th anniversary of the battle, and councillors debated over who should attend.  They agreed to send Cllr Gerry McLaughlin, whose father fought in the Somme, and the outgoing Mayor, Samuel Cole.

The council normally sends the incoming mayor and a councillor to the pilgrimage, but Mr McClarty proposed an amendment, arguing that, “The incoming mayor is a busy person” and that outgoing Mayor Cole should attend because he was too busy to attend as incoming mayor in 2012.

All councillors voted in favour of the amendment, and Cllr Yvonne Boyle said it would be a “wonderful” opportunity for Mr McLaughlin.

The council also considered proposals for a 24-month pilot project to deliver a free, public Wi-Fi service on Portrush beaches.

A free Wi-Fi service will be piloted for 24 months on Portrush beaches
A free Wi-Fi service will be piloted for 24 months on Portrush beaches

When asked by Cllr Barbour if he envisaged people using their computers on the beach, Alan Jeffers, Regeneration Manager of the Portrush Regeneration programme, said that computers and Wi-Fi provisions are “very much a part of the new generation.”

 

 

For more information about Coleraine Borough Council, visit their website.