Larne rail timetable is ‘passenger unfriendly’

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Translink’s new timetable for services between Larne and Whitehead has been branded “passenger unfriendly” by a local rail user.

As previously reported in the Larne Times, railway services between the two towns are to be reduced, as part of Translink’s plan to address its £13m government funding cuts. The changes are due to take effect from Sunday.

The newly-published timetable confirmed that the early morning Larne-Belfast service will no longer commence from Larne Harbour at 5.48am, but will instead depart from Whitehead at 6.30am.

The first service to leave Larne Harbour bound for Great Victoria Street will now be at 6.50am.

Larne Line Passenger Group member Leslie Curtis said this change could spell problems for local rail users.

Mr Curtis added: “How are passengers from Larne, Glynn, Magheramorne, and Ballycarry expected to get to work in Belfast for 7am?

“Buses from Larne only go as far as Islandmagee and do not go to Whitehead, so there is no way for someone to go to Whitehead for the 6.30am train to Belfast by public transport.”

A number of other cuts to services on the Larne-Belfast rail line will take effect on Sunday. Significant reductions are planned for the Saturday timetable, which will be cut from an hourly service to every two hours.

However, as pointed out by a Translink spokesperson, the frequency of services between Whitehead and Belfast will remain “broadly unchanged”.