Northern Ireland

Giro d'Italia: Extra buses and trains in place

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Media captionTranslink are putting on extra buses, trains and coach services for spectators

Extra buses, trains and coach services are being put on to cater for more than 100,000 spectators at next week's Giro d'Italia.

Translink is also warning of disruption to normal bus services with more than 200 miles of roads being closed at various points over the weekend.

It is one of the largest public transport plans ever put in place in Northern Ireland.

The opening ceremony will be held at Belfast City Hall on Thursday 8 May.

The international cycle race begins at Titanic Belfast on Friday 9 May. On Saturday, the race takes in the causeway coast, then on Sunday, it starts in Armagh and goes across the border to Dublin.

Translink warns there will be:

  • timetable changes
  • diversions
  • alternative departure points

Ian Campbell, from Translink, said: "On Thursday 8 May, there will be additional train services on all lines and extra bus capacity after 20:30 BST to bring people home from the team presentation at Belfast City Hall, including services to main park and ride facilities at Black's Road, Cairnshill, Sprucefield and North Side with the last bus departing the city centre at 21:30 BST.

"For the team time trials on Friday 9 May, there will be a dedicated train shuttle service between Great Victoria Street and Titanic Quarter train station in addition to normal timetabled services.

"We will operate a shuttle bus service from 08:00 BST throughout the day between a special park and ride facility at Airport Road West (Harbour Estate) and Stormont Estate. Existing park and ride services for Cairnshill, Black's Road and Sprucefield will be extended for the race finish at city hall. There will also be additional train services on all lines and extra bus capacity to get people safely home after the event."

'Enhanced capacity'

Mr Campbell said the Causeway coastal route on Saturday 10 May would showcase some of the finest scenery in Northern Ireland.

"We will provide enhanced capacity on both the Larne and Londonderry railway lines transporting large volumes of people on very scenic journeys to key race locations," he said.

"A shuttle train service between Great Victoria Street and Titanic Quarter will also operate from 07:30 BST - 16:00 BST to bring people close to the fan zone at Titanic Slipways. Once again, for the race finish at city hall in Belfast, additional bus and train capacity as well as extended park and ride services will be available to bring people home."

For the Armagh to Dublin stage on Sunday 11 May, a special coach service will operate from Europa Buscentre at 07:00 BST travelling to Armagh.

Anyone wishing to catch the stage three finish can travel on an additional return cross-border train service from Belfast to Dublin which will also serve Lisburn, Lurgan, Portadown and Newry.

The advice from Translink is to plan in advance and leave extra time for the journey.

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