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22nd June 2011

The Consumer Council launches the young people’s guide to public transport

The Consumer Council, along with YouthAction NI and Translink, have produced an informative guide to public transport for young people which shows how they can save on the cost of public transport.

The guide is a result of a research project carried out by the Consumer Council in partnership with young people from YouthAction NI and the Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster[1].  The project enabled the young people involved to present the research findings directly to the Regional Development Committee and a range of transport providers at an event in Stormont earlier this year.  The research found that young people want to use public transport but a range of barriers prevent them from doing so, one of which is the cost of travelling.  This guide is just one of the ways that the Consumer Council, YouthAction NI and Translink have been working together to address the issues highlighted in the research.

Commenting on the guide to public transport for young people, Charlene Mullan from YouthAction NI said:  “The information contained in the guide provides answers to young people’s questions especially knowing what is available and what they are entitled to.  In many ways it is the answer to many unasked questions!  I like the guide as it is very young people friendly and easy to understand.  The Consumer Council understand our need for relevant information and not information overload which is often contained in many information leaflets directed at young people”

Scott Kennerley, Head of Transport at the Consumer Council said: “The Consumer Council is delighted to launch this guide to public transport for young people.  We recognise how important public transport is for young people in terms of attending college, taking part time jobs and enabling them to meet friends.  The guide outlines how young people can make savings when using public transport.  I hope that the guide will encourage more young people take advantage of the public transport network across Northern Ireland.

The Consumer Council, YouthAction NI and Translink have also been piloting a new SmartCard for those aged 16 to 23 which offers savings across all Translink services in Northern Ireland.  If the pilot is successful Translink aim to have the card available in Spring 2012.

Norman Maynes, Head of Business Development, Translink, said: “We are committed to offering attractive travel solutions and have worked closely with the Translink Youth Forum to improve public transport for young people.  We hope this useful new guide will encourage them to use public transport more often and take advantage of the great range of travel discounts available.  We would like to thank the Consumer Council and YouthAction NI for helping to raise awareness of the savings that can be made using products such as the Translink Student Discount Card, Smartlink and iLink.  We are now working together to pilot a new ‘Translink Young Person’s Card’ – an integrated smartcard providing discount on Translink services.  The smartcard trial participants are also completing daily travel diaries and we will use this record of their personal experiences to shape our own approach moving forward to make the bus and train their preferred mode of travel.


The Consumer Council and YouthAction NI will be working with Translink and the Committee for Regional Development to address other recommendations from the research and ensure that public transport meets the needs of young people.

Jimmy Spratt MLA, Chairperson of the Committee said: “The Committee is delighted to continue its engagement in this project which will bring about accessible and safer transport for our young people.  This is an important example of how young people’s voices can be heard and I congratulate YouthAction NI and the Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster on their success”.

The Consumer Council’s Guide to Public Transport for Young People is available on or by calling 0800 121 6022.  The guide will also be available from a number of Translink stations and youth centres. 



  1. Consumer Council media contact: Irene Overend, telephone, 028 9067 4816 or 07825 147496 or e-mail,  
  2. The Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland’s consumers. The Council campaigns for high standards of service and protection and a fair deal for all. It also carries out research, gives advice and publishes reports and other publications. It deals with individual complaints about buses, trains, planes, ferries, natural gas, electricity, coal and water.
  3. For more information, visit our website at

[1] “Transport Matters – Young People’s experiences, attitudes and ideas for improving public transport”, Consumer Council, January 2011.