December 5th: Davy McMurray, lead Regional Officer for public transport in Unite expressed Unite’s total opposition to proposals which would see a range of urban bus services discontinued, cuts to rail services and a hike in fares.
“The Minister’s proposals are totally unacceptable. Slashing local bus services in fourteen major regional towns, reducing local pick up points and cutting the frequency of services will have a hugely adverse impact on the most vulnerable sections of our society. It is an attack on older people, the disabled, families with children and those who just cannot afford to run a car – all of whom are dependent on public transport to go to the shop, library or other essential services.
“Proposals such as fare hikes and cutting back on rail services will only further undermine the economic sustainability of Northern Ireland’s public transport system and force further cuts as user numbers decrease further.
“Unite is completely opposed to these proposals. If the Minister insists of proceeding with them, we will work to build campaigns alongside the affected communities to force a reversal.
“Unite represents the overwhelming majority of both bus and rail drivers as well as the majority of workers throughout Translink. We are gathering our senior shop stewards from across Translink for a crunch meeting next Tuesday morning (December 9th) to decide our response”.