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Park & Ride FAQs

1. What is Park & Ride? What can I expect from Park & Ride?

The term “Park & Ride” (P&R) is most usually applied to a dedicated bus service linking a purpose built car park with the nearest town/city centre, or to a railway station designed or adapted to provide good access by car.

Bus-based P&R services usually run non-stop between a peripheral car park and the town/city centre and do not form part of the ordinary network of local services although in the off-peak they may be augmented by the latter.

At some sites e.g. Sprucefield and Black’s Road, dedicated bus services operate at regular frequencies during the morning and evening peak periods, Monday to Friday. Other sites e.g. Eastside & Northside operate throughout the day including Saturdays whilst others are seasonal (pre-Christmas) or temporary to serve a special event e.g. a major sporting event or concert.

To attract car users the service has to be frequent and fast enough to make interchange worthwhile so bus-based P&R services are usually combined with bus priority measures and high quality low-floor, easy access vehicles.

The pricing policy and promotional fares using Smartlink are significantly less expensive than daily parking rates in town/city centres.
  
2. Why Park & Ride?

Many people live outside our cities and towns, in locations difficult to serve well by public transport. However, they still want to come into these built-up areas for work, education, shopping, etc.

P&R services make it possible for at least part of the trip to be made without a car, reducing congestion on the approaches to the town and keeping down the amount of space to be given over to traffic and parking in sensitive central locations.

However, it is important for P&R to be part of an overall parking strategy. It should not just provide additional long-stay car parking but instead it should release existing long-stay car parking in the town/city centre, for re-development or conversion to short stay parking as well as being a source of additional short-stay car parking.
  
3. How do I get to the Park & Ride Sites?

In addition to the map of N.I. P&R sites on Translink and other related websites, they are clearly signed in advance on the surrounding road network as well as on site using a standardised sign.
  
4. Who runs the Park & Ride sites?

All rail based P&R sites are provided by Translink. In addition, Translink provide car parking facilities at some bus stations. All other bus-based P&R sites are provided by DRD Roads Service with Translink providing the formal bus service.
  
5. Will there be anyone to help me at the site?

In addition to on-site timetable / route map and fare information there will be a security presence. Larger sites will have heated waiting areas, with facilities like telephone, public toilets, etc. or be multi-functional e.g. adjoining shopping facilities.
   
6. Will my car be safe?

It is recognised that a secure site makes for a good P&R car park. A toolkit detailing the requirements for facilities at P&R sites has been agreed that specifies well-lit, boundary fence / controlled entry, CCTV as well as on-site personnel.
  
7. How do I know which bus to catch back to the site?

Dedicated buses with individual liveries are currently used. Those services not returning from a bus station will have well signed town/city centre boarding points with prominent branding.
  
8. What provision has been made for the disabled / easy access?

Conveniently located disabled parking bays, direct level access or ramped routes with tactile paving and dropped kerbs, as necessary, to platforms or hard standing areas, served by new low-floor, easy access configuration buses are part of the standard specification for existing and proposed P&R car parks.

Published
4/01/2012

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