Committee Members Meet NI Transport Holding Company
Date: 08 August 2012
Reference: CRD 08/11/12
Chairman of the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Regional Development, Mr Jimmy Spratt MLA, and other members of the Committee today met with the Chair to the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company (NITHC), Mr John Trethowan, in Parliament Buildings.
Speaking following the meeting, Mr Spratt said: “This meeting was requested by NITHC on the back of last week’s meeting and considered one matter – how to improve the relationship that Translink has with the Committee.
“I and the other members made it very clear that the best means of achieving this was for Translink to get real and to get their house in order. They are facing significant losses over the next few years and don’t seem to have woken up to this fact. They can no longer play the Oliver Twist scenario, holding their bowl out to the department and asking “Can I have more?” They cannot continue to hide behind the threat of increased fares and job losses to secure additional funding from the taxpayer.”
The Deputy Chair to the Committee, Mr Séan Lynch added: “Translink is already getting £215 million from the Executive over the next 2 ½ years. Already this year they have been given an additional £11 million to purchase new buses. The Committee believes that this can’t continue and that Translink has to learn to wash their own face.”
The Chairman concluded: “We have stated that Translink must be more transparent with the Committee in respect of their corporate plan and the business plan for the proposed pay increase for train drivers. I would hope that Mr Trethowan will relay this back to his Board and that we can then start to move forward.”
Mr David McNarry MLA and Mr John Dallat MLA also attended today’s meeting.