Cuts don’t alter bus depot plans

Kenlis Street Car Park �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1448-288EB
Kenlis Street Car Park �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1448-288EB

The planned Translink Bus station on Kenlis Street in Banbridge will not be affected by budget cuts despite a number of bus and train service changes coming into place in September.

Upper Bann MLA Jo-anne Dobson has been following the progress of the bus station and welcomed the news.

She said: “I am aware that there were delays in the project due to a planning issue but understand there were no issues around funding.

“This is a good news story for the people and businesses of Banbridge and I very much look forward to Banbridge having its first ever bus station.”

Translink have announced that the bus and train service changes following the public consultation earlier this year will be introduced from September 2015.

Details of changes to services in Banbridge are not yet known but a Translink spokesperson said: “We are currently finalising timetables and schedules for the service changes due to be implemented on September 1. We will be releasing full details on amendments to services in the coming weeks.”

This announcement follows a three month hold put on the planned service changes to allow additional time for discussion and agreement between Translink, Unite Trade Union and the Minister for Regional Development.

Translink Group Chief Executive David Strahan said: “We are operating in a challenging fiscal environment where the public funding we receive has been reduced significantly. While there will be a reduction to the overall workforce, this is being addressed through a recruitment freeze, redeployment and natural attrition.

“There will be no compulsory redundancies for front line staff as a result of these service changes.”

He added: “We have worked hard to minimize the impact of the reduced funding on front line services and have been able to protect the geographic coverage of the network albeit with some reduced frequency on some services. This was the overwhelming feedback from customers throughout our consultation.

“Our focus will remain on reducing costs, enhancing value for money and providing improvements to our services as more and more people choose the bus and train”.