Anger over weekend closure of Cookstown bus depot

Cookstown bus depot - closed at weekends
Cookstown bus depot - closed at weekends

Translink’s decision to close Cookstown bus depot at weekends has caused anger in the area.

A notice was put up at the depot announcing the closure and urging commuters to use the bus shelter in Union Street every Saturday and Sunday.

DUP MLA Keith Buchanan expressed disappointment, describing Cookstown as the “main hub of Mid Ulster” which needed good transport facilities.

He told the Mail that he would be raising the matter with Translink chiefs as a matter of urgency.

Cookstown Ulster Unionist Councillor Trevor Wilson claimed the move was another step towards downgrading the bus depot.

He said he had tried to contact the company, without success, and argued that the company should have consulted with Mid Ulster Council before introducing the change.

“This will mean that Cookstown depot will now only be a bus stop at the weekend. For a major town this is totally unacceptable and I await a response from Translink with interest,” he said.

Cookstown Sinn Féin Councillor John MacNamee said he and local MP Francie Molloy planned to meet with Translink to discuss the situation. He said he has received complaints from local people and described the decision as “totally unacceptable.”

A Translink spokesperson said: “As part of our drive to deliver value for money we continue to create efficiencies throughout the organisation, so we can continue to offer best value for our customers and continue to ensure we operate efficiently.

“As part of these efficiencies, Cookstown Bus Station will close at weekends.These changes help to reduce costs whilst maintaining services for our customers. Weekend services will now depart from the bus shelter directly outside the bus station.”