Causeway Coast and Glens Sinn Féin Councillor, Cara McShane, has claimed that public transport on the Antrim Coast needs major investment, as the route secures another top global accolade for coastal drives.
Speaking after a recent survey ranked the North Coast as the worlds fourth best route for a road trip Cllr Cara McShane said:
“While we never get complacent about the spectacular area we live in, we welcome this latest poll by Go Compare which rates the North Coast as number four in the drives around the world.
“The public transport on this route, however, needs to come up to the 21st century, to give easier and greater access to the Glens and Antrim Coast.
“We could learn a lot from other tourist areas and give the visitor more options, other than the ‘conveyor belt’ one-day trip experience, up the M2 and back to Belfast or Dublin.
“This year Translink has extended the Causeway Rambler drop on/ drop off service along the coast from Coleraine, to now include Ballycastle, and this has been welcomed. However, public transport from Ballycastle to the Glens, in what is undoubtedly the most iconic section of the entire Causeway Coastal route, needs reviewed urgently.
“Any traveller planning their journey ahead online, finds it difficult to get around this area by public transport. Indeed the Goldliner 252 service has been cut back from all year round, to just summer season, with only two buses passing through daily.
“Translink is a public service and should not be treated as a commercial enterprise. We need to see investment in this area from the public sector, to offer an alternative to the private coach motorway experience.”
North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA, Philip McGuigan, added:
“The North Coast has attracted huge sporting events in recent times, not least the Giro d’Italia cycling race and several major golfing tournaments.
“Increased service provision, marketing and tickets for public transport should be more readily available in all coastal villages and towns.
“We will be arranging meetings with tourism bodies, Transport NI and officials from the Department of the Economy over the next few weeks to discuss and plan a way forward.”