Future of Dungiven station under focus

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A ‘park and ride’ facility is one idea being put forward by politicians for future use of the PSNI station in Dungiven.

Limavady PSNI chiefs were last night scheduled to meet the public in Dungiven and the surrounding area to discuss the proposed closure of the station. It is one of several identified by the Policing Board that could be closed, in a bid to save money.

The ‘Journal’ last year revealed there were no public visitors to the Main Street station in the past 12 months and, in recent months, the PSNI has reduced opening hours to every other Tuesday, between 2-4pm.

Police say they aim to deliver policing to the area through other means, such as surgeries, increased foot patrols and use of the mobile station.

Sinn Fein councillor Sean McGlinchey said his party believe closure should result in the station being handed over to the relevant department for development of a park and ride facility.

“I think that would be an ideal site for a park and ride. The buses have to come through the town anyway and it would bring people into the town as well. With a bypass around the town, it would be ideal. If you look at other park and ride facilities they are situated outside town and people have to travel to them. I know there are some community groups who would like to see it handed over, but who could afford to deal with the costs of turning it into a community building?”

SDLP MLA for East Derry, John Dallat said the idea of a park and ride facility was “alright, but the town is already congested. I believe any benefits from the sale of the station in Dungiven should go back to the community. There is the thought it should be handed over to the community, but these buildings are fortresses that belong to a bygone age. The local community needed to be consulted in the widest possible form.”

Speaking ahead of the meetings in Dungiven last night, Area Commander Chief Inspector Sam Donaldson said: “Anyone who wants to express their views on the proposals and how policing can be delivered in the area is strongly encouraged to attend. It is important that we hear a range of views during this consultation period. We want to ensure that the service we deliver is tailored to the needs of local people.”

Anyone with views on the propsed closure can email the Neighbourhood Team - NPTLimavadyRural@psni.pnn.police.uk or call 07795999295 or write to Chief Inspector Sam Donaldson at Limavady PSNI, 11 Connell Street, Limavady, BT49 0EA. Mark your letters - PSNI Estates Review.