‘Chaotic’ scenes at Castledawson park and ride - claim

The Castledawson Roundabout park and ride which is to be extended.
The Castledawson Roundabout park and ride which is to be extended.

A regular user of the park and ride facility at Castledawson is calling on the authorities to take urgent action before an accident happens.

The Magherafelt man, who asked not to be named, described the facility as chaotic first thing in the mornings as commuters arrive.

“I leave my daughter off in the mornings for the bus and trying to find somewhere to park is impossible,” he said.

“The park and ride is usually full of cars early on and the side roads around the facility are blocked with cars and vans.

“It’s a miracle no one has been knocked down or there hasn’t been a serious accident in the area.”

The man said the main junction was also very busy with traffic exiting and entering the old Magherafelt Road leading to the park and ride.

He said many cars were forced to park along the old Magherafelt Road because there was no parking available.

Infrastructure Minister, Chris Hazzard MLA, has informed Mid Ulster MLA Sandra Overend that an expansion at the park and ride is being processed, with the intention of creating 192 new parking spaces.

She said there was a growing demand amongst commuters for an expansion at the facility.

“The popularity of this safe and convenient travel solution means that the demand for the Castledawson Park and Ride has outgrown its current capacity. With 81 parking spaces, including only 3 disabled spaces, expansion of the facility is urgently needed,” she said.

“I urge him to do all that he can to resolve the issue over procuring land needed for the expansion, and hope that the project commences within this financial year, as estimated. I also hope that the Department will take into consideration the need for more bicycle spaces, and ensure that the new layout will have improved safety for users who currently have to walk down the narrow pathway along the side of the road to access the facility.”

The former Magherafelt Council lobbied to have the park and ride facility provided after a local student was tragically knocked down and killed getting off a bus at Glenshane Road back in 2008.