Irish Open 2012 – travel & transportation plans

The Irish Open Transportation management plan was announced in Belfast with (from left to right): Alan Clarke, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board; Steve McCartney, Coleraine Borough Council; Inspector Stephen McCauley, PSNI; Antonia Beggs, Irish Open Championship Director; Arthur Hamilton, Translink North-Eastern Area Manager.

IF you’ve bought a ticket and are heading to the Irish Open at Royal Portush you better plan in advance how to get in and out of the venue.
The traditional method of driving as close as possible and then abandoning the car isn’t going to work with almost 100,000 people expected during tournament week.
The European Tour, in conjunction with Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB), the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Coleraine Borough Council, Translink and the Roads Service have studied arrangements in light of safety measures and the road network in the surrounding area. The overriding objectives are a safe event with minimum disruption to the local communities and ease of access and a warm welcome for all visitors.
With the exception of the East Strand Car Park in Portrush Town (which is to be used by Tournament Organisers) it is intended that no golf traffic will be directed to park in Portrush itself and that only Park and Ride locations are used.

Public Transport
Translink North Eastern Area Manager Arthur Hamilton says that anyone travelling to Portrush should plan their journey in advance and take advantage of dedicated coach and rail golf services.
“With thousands of additional visitors expected in Portrush from June 28 – July 1, Translink will provide both coach and rail golf services to ensure visitors enjoy a hassle-free journey and reduce traffic congestion in the area,” he said.
“In addition to normal scheduled services, extra trains will run from Belfast and Derry – Londonderry to Portrush with tickets available to book online or purchase in advance from main rail stations.
“Dedicated golf coach services will depart locations across Northern Ireland and are available to book online only and Ulsterbus Tours is also offering travel and Irish Open event ticket packages.
“Both golf rail and coach return services are £15 per adult and £7.50 per child and Ulsterbus Tours packages are priced at £40. For further information including booking tickets click or call our contact centre on 90 66 66 30.”

Park and Ride
Five locations have been identified as temporary car parks to facilitate this Park and Ride scheme and spaces for approximately 9800 vehicles have been identified. The venues have been chosen as they are located strategically to the East and West of Royal Portrush Golf Club to ensure traffic visiting from all parts of the country as well as southern Ireland will be directed into the most suitable areas.
A significant number of visitors are expected to travel to the event via specific packages on bus or train, thereby further reducing congestion on the network and surrounding local roads.
All spectators are encouraged to refer to the detailed travel information which they will receive along with their tickets closer to the date of the tournament or they can visit the Irish Open section within for further details.
A very limited number of vehicle and pedestrian movements will be permitted within the event boundary and all residents whose properties actually fall within this zone have been contacted individually.
There will be a ‘park and ride’ shuttle bus service in operation provided by Translink to transport people between these sites and Royal Portrush Golf Club. This service is aimed at significantly reducing the volume of vehicles, particularly cars, needing to actually get to or from Royal Portrush Golf Club. All vehicle access and egress to and from the event is restricted to essential traffic only and carefully managed.
There will be a nominal charge per vehicle for access to the car parks but thereafter the shuttle service to the golf course will be free.

PSNI/Coleraine Borough Council Travel Advice
In order to minimise disruption to local communities, to ensure that spectators use the Park & Ride facilities correctly and to prevent/discourage illegal or fly parking “No Parking /Tow Away Zones” will be established on major routes and local or estate roads adjoining or Royal Portrush Golf Club and the Park & Ride venues. These zones will not only prevent fly parking and reduce congestion but also enhance safety for all road users. Illegally parked vehicles may be removed and a charge will be made for recovery.
The drop off, lay-up and pick up point for all private hire buses will be at the existing coach park on Sandhill Drive.
Additional facilities will be considered should numbers suggest this is required.
Taxi set down and pick up can be facilitated at the Dunluce Centre, which will be managed by Coleraine Council staff. This will be communicated to the Taxi Associations.

Important info
The main public entrance to the site will be at the entrance to the Rathmore Golf Club car park. Spectators will be dropped off from the Park and Ride sites at the Dunluce centre and this will inevitably mean a huge increase in pedestrian traffic utilising the Dunluce and Bushmills Roads.
Therefore, primarily for safety reasons, it will be necessary to have some restrictions in place during golfing hours to minimise pedestrian and vehicle conflict. In addition to those safety concerns, it is also highly likely that should through traffic be permitted to and from Portrush on the Bushmills Road, the resulting congestion would cause serious implications to the local route network.

Tuesday 26th June – Sunday 1st July: 07:00hrs to 19:00hrs
1. There will be no through traffic to or from Portrush, via the Bushmills Road
2. Access will be facilitated only via the Dunluce Road
3. No roadside parking will be permitted from the Dunluce Road at its junction with Ballybogy Road to Crocknamack Road
Timings are flexible and will be minimised whenever possible.
Special vehicle passes will be printed by The European Tour and distributed by the Coleraine Borough Council all residents living within areas indicated above to allow 24 hour access to their homes and frontages.

Translink golf services:

–          Golf service rail tickets are valid across the rail network inNorthern Ireland. For example, if journey starts inBangor, £15 golf ticket will be valid for travel fromBangortoBelfastand onboard dedicated golf service to Portrush.

–          For anyone travelling from Coleraine to Portrush, standard rail fares will apply on both normal services and dedicated golf services.

–          Golf service coach tickets are only available to book online. Golf coach services will depart from: Derry/Londonderry, Omagh, Strabane, Limavady, Armagh, Dungannon, Cookstown, Magherafelt, Maghera, Portadown, Lurgan, Moira, Lisburn, Newry, Banbridge,Belfast, Newtownards,Bangor, Holywood.

–          UlsterbusToursPackage – includes Irish Open ticket and Ulsterbus Tours coach travel from Belfast. All Translink media enquiries to Translink press office 028 90 89 9455.


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12 Responses to “Irish Open 2012 – travel & transportation plans”

  1. david Says:

    Where is disabled car parks or is it the same sham as nw200?

  2. dominic Says:

    how do you find out where the park and rides are? cany seeem to find out where they are

    • pkgolf Says:

      If you have tickets the travel details should be on them but I believe the park and ride schemes will be well posted on approach to Portrush

  3. Meads Says:

    What about the parking along the side streets off of Crocknamac Road? Will cars parked/abandoned on footpaths, blocking driveways, hinderance of getting into our homes?? Will there be any towing away in these areas, or are we as usual left with the hassle that is the same at every large event in Portrush.

  4. Tom Woods Says:

    As I drive to Portrush from Belfast, please advise where the aforementioned 5 park and ride areas are. I would like to know beforehand rather than just looking for signs. Tom

    • pkgolf Says:

      Tom – I wish I could be more specific but I unfortunately I don’t know – maybe check with the European Tour?

      • Tom Woods Says:

        Thank you for this. I checked with the European Tour site and they just repeat what had been written in the booklet that came with the tickets. it refers to park & ride but not where they are. This is the secret of the Irish Open – just don’t miss the signs as you drive to Portrush and be in the right lane even if the traffic is heavy.
        No matter, enjoy the golf.
        T. Woods

  5. Andrew Brown Says:

    Please could someone let us know where the Park and Ride areas are!?

    • pkgolf Says:

      hope you found them

    • Tom Woods Says:

      I was at the Irish Open Wednesday and Thursday and found a great park and ride reasonably close to the course. take the road from Portstewart to Portrush and the park and ride is half way between the two towns at an area called the pitstop- on the right (used as a pitstop when the North West Motorcycle race is on). The attendants are great and very helpful, plenty of buses to get you to and from the course and the bus leaves you off and collects you about 200 yards from the entrance at Rathmore Golf Club. It costs £5 for the parking and bus return. Highly recommended.
      T Woods

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