Fare Increases Won't Grow Public Transport

Session: 2009/2010

Date: 22 June 2010

Reference: RD 06/09/10

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Regional Development has expressed its concerns over the proposals contained in Translink’s Corporate Plan for 2010-2013. Among other things the plan proposes fare increases and a reduction in the frequency of some services. .

Committee Chairperson, Fred Cobain MLA, said today: “The Committee received a detailed briefing on the Translink corporate plan last week and many concerns surfaced that we feel need to be addressed.

“Fare increases won’t grow public transport. The number of passenger journeys fell last year. It is difficult to see how fare increases will halt this decline, let alone encourage people to make the shift to public transport.

“Public transport needs to be sustainable and we appreciate that some services currently offered are not. However, before any changes to timetables are proposed, there has to be local consultation and active consideration of alternative transport options particularly for older passengers, passengers with disabilities, and for rural communities.

“We are all aware that there is a challenging economic time ahead, but with imagination and dynamism from Translink and the Department for Regional Development, it could be an opportunity to make public transport a more attractive option.”

The Committee has written to the Minister for Regional Development on these and other issues, and awaits his response.

Ends

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