Belfast Telegraph

Public asked to choose Derry station

By Donna Deeney

The public in Londonderry can voice their preferred option for a replacement train station at three events being held by Translink.

The company is looking at four possibilities, but the most popular with the general public is thought to be relocation to the original Waterside Station.

Other options are the refurbishment of the existing station, a complete new build at Ebrington or a new ‘Waterside Link' station.

Although there is no funding available in the current budget, Translink stressed it is committed to developing the railway in Derry and encouraged people to attend the consultation events.

Translink Infrastructure Executive Clive Bradberry said: “There has been considerable investment in the railway line in the north west over recent years securing the long-term future and sustainability of the Londonderry/Derry line.

“Further infrastructure work is planned for 2014 which will see the implementation of a passing loop between Derry/Londonderry and Coleraine due for completion in 2015.

“This will allow us to extend our hourly train services from Belfast to Derry/Londonderry and meet expected growing passenger demand — 1.5 million journeys were made along this line in 2011/12.

“In addition to significant track improvement and safety works, we also want to provide attractive passenger facilities and have |identified a series of options for a potential new train station.”

Foyle MLA William Hay has championed refurbishment of the Victorian building that was the original Waterside Station and says this is still the sensible option.

He said: “There is such affection for this old building in the city and we believe getting it restored and back to its former glory is doable and is the sensible option.”

Derry City Councillor, Martin Reilly, encouraged people to attend the events. “I hope Translink will be able to secure the necessary funding for this proposal, and a |robust response from the people of this city to the new consultation will help in that regard,” he said.

A brochure and questionnaire are available or can be viewed online at www.translink.co.uk/|watersidestation.

The consultations begin at Foyleside Shopping Centre on February 28 and March 2 , 9am-5pm, and at Lisnagelvin Leisure Centre on March 7 and 9, also 9am-5pm.

There will be displays in Foyle Street Bus Station and Waterside Train Station when consultation is complete. The deadline for public responses is May 24, 2013.

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