A new coach drop-off point on Northern Ireland’s tourism trail has been revealed by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, working alongside the Federation of Passenger Transport Northern Ireland.
The move is intended to make it more attractive for coach passengers and operators to include the Borough in their itineraries and provide an ideal, central location from which to take in the Borough.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Paul Reid, said: “Our Borough is blessed with a vast range of spectacular attractions, including incredible scenery, natural and built heritage, award-winning hotels and fantastic shops, restaurants and cafes.
“The introduction of the new coach set down and pick up stop on Bridge Street, Ballymena, will make it even easier for visitors to enjoy those offerings.
“The location was identified due to its ease of access and close proximity to Ballymena town centre. Those stepping off coaches will be able to visit the impressive Braid building, including our tourism information centre, and make use of the facilities on the premises.
“The siting will also increase footfall at that end of Ballymena, bringing more people to the doors of businesses based in the area.
“People come from around the world to experience our magnificent Causeway Coastal Route, and as it weaves its way through Mid and East Antrim, it showcases the best of our Borough’s attractions.
“We are committed to doing all we can to ensure Ballymena and other towns and villages in Mid and East Antrim benefit from that huge interest from around the world and include those areas when they are planning their trips.”
The new coach stop is now in operation, along with designated parking adjacent to the Seven Towers Leisure Centre in Ballymena.
As an added incentive to coach companies across Northern Ireland, the UK and Ireland, the council has also agreed to provide visiting coach drivers with free access to the leisure centre while utilising the new coach parking.
Karen Magill, Chief Executive of the Federation of Passenger Transport Northern Ireland, said: “The Federation and its members are delighted with the new coach facilities and the commitment made by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to the needs of coach companies and their passengers. We look forward to continuing our work with the Council in their efforts to develop coach tourism potential.”