Concern over bus services

PROPOSED cuts in services announced by Translink have prompted a local MLA to express his concern.

Upper Bann MLA Stephen Moutray, who is also a member of the NI Assembly DRD Committee, said: “I would be concerned at this announcement of cuts to bus services at this time. This announcement comes when we are trying to encourage more people to use public transport. It also comes at a time when fuel costs have risen dramatically forcing more and more people to consider getting out of their cars and onto public transport.

“I would also be concerned at the potential negative impact of this move on rural and more isolated areas where many people depend upon a regular service. Transport disadvantage and social exclusion in rural areas of Northern Ireland is an important issue that has a bearing upon participation in or access to such things as education, employment or goods and services. Elderly people or parents of young children often depend upon regular bus services to maintain any kind of mobility.

“There are many isolated rural areas like that in an around Lurgan. This announcement could have a significant negative impact upon people and I would ask that every possible alternative is considered before any service is reduced in any such area.”