Assembly Committee Concerned at Cuts in Bus Service

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 09 August 2011

Reference: CRD 03/11/12

Recent news that Translink plans to reduce bus services has caused the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Regional Development grave concerns about the impact on local communities, particularly those in rural areas.

Speaking on behalf of the Committee, Chairperson Jimmy Spratt MLA, said: “The Committee recognises that Translink is a commercial business operating in a tough economic climate. However, we are concerned that reductions in services could disproportionately affect people in rural areas who rely on public transport to access education, employment and other services. We have requested information from the Department on specific details of routes which will be affected by the proposed reductions to bus services.

“Transport links are also vitally important to towns and villages around Northern Ireland, enabling them to attract competitive businesses. The Committee is concerned that cutting the frequency of services would have detrimental impact on local communities and their businesses, especially in these financially difficult times.

“The Committee has been actively seeking information from the Department of Regional Development on any issues it faces as a result of the financial pressures facing the public sector. The Committee is yet to receive this information and is disappointed to read about such issues in the media.

“At a time when the Department is trying to encourage people to leave their car at home and use public transport, this news will do nothing to drive growth in passenger numbers.”

ENDS

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