Responding to the publication of DRD’s Draft Budget spending and saving proposals, Davy McMurray, lead Regional Officer for public transport in Unite expressed his union’s opposition.
“The Department has identified that in order to meet the requirements of reducing the subvention to Translink, both fare increases and a reduction in bus and train timetables will be necessary.
“Proposals to raise fares are targeted on the poorest sections of our society and have a huge impact on their quality of living. They will also discourage the uptake of public transport increasing reliance on more environmentally damaging forms of transport.
“Proposals to cut ‘uneconomic’ runs will impact dramatically on rural communities – in particular on those, for example the elderly and families without a car. It will have a massive adverse impact on isolated households in rural and peripheral areas where service hubs are often only available through public transport.
“Unite stands full-scale against any cuts to our public transport system. The service provided by bus and rail should not be sacrificed to pay for the failure to increase taxes on the richest in our society. Instead of meekly implementing austerity cuts which will hit the most vulnerable hardest in Northern Ireland – our politicians should be opposing these cuts and standing by the communities who elected them”, Mr McMurray concluded.