MLA URGES TRANSLINK TO RETHINK HOSPITAL BUS STOP

North Antrm MLA Mervyn Storey.
North Antrm MLA Mervyn Storey.

North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey has received an undertaking from Translink bosses to look again at their decision to stop the Goldline service to the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine.

Mr Storey met with Translink Chief Executive Chris Conway to discuss the axing of the Goldline 218 hospital stop which has caused an outcry from staff, patients and visitors alike.

The Ballymoney man said: “I welcomed the opportunity to raise my concerns of the decision by Translink to end the bus service to the Causeway Hospital and also to discuss the town service for Ballymoney and local villages.

“It was a very useful meeting and I am pleased that the Chief Executive Chris Conway has undertaken to look again at the Hospital Service, particularly around visiting times.

“As with the Town Service and the service for local villages such as Balnamore, Macfin and Bendooragh, I am pleased that an announcement will be made soon about a new service and timetable for the town and surrounding areas.”

One visitor who told 
the Times her story described the “ludicrous situation” of travelling from Belfast on the Goldliner to visit her sister in the Causeway Hospital.

“I had checked out the timetable from Belfast and knew that the 218 would drop me right in at the hospital at the bus stop there so that I could visit my sister.

“I had checked out visiting hours too and timed it perfectly. Then when I asked for my ticket to the hospital stop, I was told the bus didn’t stop there any more.

“So when we arrived into Coleraine, the bus kept going right past the front of the hospital and into Coleraine bus centre.

“So I had to take a taxi from there back out the way I came to the hospital. It’s a ludicrous sistuation”.

A Translink spokesperson previously explained: “As a result of consistently 
low passenger numbers travelling on the Goldline 218 service to Causeway Hospital, the service no longer calls at the hospital. 
Passengers wishing to travel to the hospital can use Coleraine town services and Ulsterbus services 171, 173 and 178, all of which operate frequently (26 per day 
from 07:25 until 18:03 Monday to Friday) via Coleraine bus station.”