Press Release

Young people tell Assembly Committee‘Transport Matters’

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Thursday, 12 January 2012

Reference: RD 03/10/11

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Regional Development is to host a special event [1] this evening to hear the views of young people on using public transport. Working with The Consumer Council and YouthAction NI, young people from YouthAction’s Community Leadership Programme conducted research among their peers.  The resulting report ‘Transport Matters’ [2] and findings will be presented by the young people to members of the Committee and invited stakeholders.

Speaking before the event Committee Chair Fred Cobain, MLA said: “When the Committee heard about the research and how it was designed and carried out by young people, for young people, we were very keen to hear the outcomes. It is fantastic to see young people interested in shaping public policy, and in finding ways to improve services.

“We wanted to host this event to give people involved in the research the opportunity to speak directly to the Committee and to key stakeholders about their views and ideas on public transport. What we hear this evening will be very useful in our work on sustainable transport. The Committee will publish a report of the event and will wait with interest to see how the Department for Regional Development and transport providers respond to the recommendations in the report.”

Charlene Mullan from YouthAction’s Community Leadership Programme added: “When the Consumer Council approached us to suggest we carry out our own research on our experiences and views of public transport we were really keen, especially as there was an opportunity to present our views to politicians. For those of us who live in rural areas, public transport can be our only way of travelling to training and work or social activities. In many areas the transport on offer stops running too early or it is too far to the bus stop. This can limit young people’s potential and their overall quality of life. This report includes our recommendations on how public transport can meet the needs of younger people.”

A group of young people from YouthAction’s Community Leadership Programme will be present the findings and recommendations of the report which will be followed by a drama performance of the key messages from the report.


Notes to Editors:

1. A copy of the research report “Transport Matters: Young people’s experiences, attitudes and idea for improving public transport” can be accessed athttp://www.consumercouncil.org.uk/filestore/documents/transportmatters.pdf
A total of 38 young people in the YouthAction Community Leadership Programme, aged 18-25, developed and completed questionnaires which they in turn completed with local youth groups as part of their work placements. In total 189 young people completed the questionnaires. The Consumer Council and YouthAction provided support to the young people who designed and carried out the research.

2. The event will take place in The Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings and will include an overview of findings by young people, and a drama presentation of the key messages from the research. This will be followed by a discussion on the findings between young people and key stakeholders.

Membership of the Regional Development Committee is as follows:

Chairperson:

Mr Fred Cobain MLA

Deputy Chairperson:

Ms Michelle McIlveen MLA

Committee Members:

Billy Armstrong MLA

 

Allan Bresland MLA

 

Cathal Boylan MLA

 

Billy Leonard MLA

 

Anna Lo MLA

 

Fra McCann MLA

 

Ian McCrea MLA

 

Conall McDevitt MLA

 

George Robinson MLA

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