23 January 2006

New bus route to tackle congestion


by Francesca Ryan

with the work on the M1 motorway drawing ever closer, travelling through West Belfast or into the city centre is going to be difficult to say the least.
However, life can be a little easier for the people in the Colin area as Translink and the Colin Neighbourhood Partnership have teamed up to promote the Colin Express.

In the mornings two services will operate to cater for the Colin area, one from Twinbrook and the other from Poleglass.

Ulsterbus Twinbrook Express (233) will pick up passengers from 7.45am throughout Twinbrook, Lagmore, the Cutts, Dunmurry Lane, Glengoland and Blacks Road and progress to the M1 motorway and straight to the Europa Bus Centre arriving at 8.30am.

The second service, Ulsterbus Poleglass Express (235), will pick up passengers at 7.50am from Poleglass before continuing via Blacks Road down the M1 and also arriving at the Europa Bus Centre at 8.30am.

With the use of the M1 bus lane these services fly past the traffic and reach the city centre in a very short period of time.

In the afternoon rush hour, two return journeys operate from Queen Street. Departing at 5.15pm and 5.35pm from Queen Street, the buses then pick up passengers at the Europa Bus Centre reaching last stops in the Colin area at 6pm and 6.20pm.

Jim Carlin, Manager of the Colin Neighbourhood Partnership said, “The Colin Express will immensely benefit the people from the Colin area as they will be transported to the city centre in minimal time, with minimal effort.

“This will be a double-decker service which can hold up to 90 people and as well as transporting them to the city centre quickly, it will take several cars off the road decreasing the traffic jams even further and therefore benefiting the whole community."

Damien Bannon, District Manager of Translink, explained the potential benefits of the Colin Express.

“Whilst we can not predict as yet the level of congestion the roadworks will cause, undoubtedly we are faced with three years of traffic problems in and around Belfast.

“I would encourage anyone wishing to travel into the city centre to give either express service a try.

“This will no doubt provide a very attractive option for many frustrated car drivers.

“We are also currently investigating the option of extending the Ladybrook Express services 214 to serve the Colin area, and would hope to be in a position to confirm if this is possible in the next few weeks."

All of these Ulsterbus services run from Monday to Friday.

The fare on these journeys is £1.20, and Prepaid Smartlink Cards are also valid. With the traffic tailbacks and ever rising petrol prices this is an inexpensive and trouble-free way to travel. For more information go to www.translink.co.uk or www.newcolin.com.

Journalist:: Francesca Ryan

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