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Translink slammed after bus betrayal

February 3, 2005 12:00 AM

ALLIANCE has slammed Translink for removing the No 34 service from Mount Merrion via the Cregagh Road after only recently reinstating a separate service to serve Mount Merrion via the Ormeau Road.

Castlereagh Councillor Michael Long stated: ""Alliance lobbied long and hard, and eventually we succeeded in getting a service to cover the Mount Merrion/Ormeau Road link re-established.

""In all the protracted discussions and meetings between ourselves, residents and Translink, not once was it even mentioned that the alternate service via Cregagh Road to the City Centre was even under threat. What was a half hourly service has now been axed completely, in a display of the cavalier attitude of Translink towards their passengers.

""People in Mount Merrion, quite reasonably, want to be able to access both the Cregagh and Ormeau roads, not just one or the other, and we were led to believe that the Metro service, restoring the link with the Ormeau Road, would once again make this possible. Now we find that what they gave with one hand they snatched away with the other.

""People were pleased that Translink had listened to their concerns; however, any good faith built up in the process has destroyed by their lack of transparency on their plans for all of the Mount Merrion services.

""If Translink is serious about getting more people to use their new Metro service, it needs to deal more openly with the public and its representatives, rather than treating them with such contempt.""

Cllr Long said he would be organising a residents'' petition to lobby for the service to be reinstated and has demanded a meeting with Translink Chiefs to discuss the matter.

""Passengers have been treated unfairly again, but we will not be giving in without a fight. The demand for better bus services is there, and we will be calling on Translink to reconsider this short-sighted decision.""

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