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17th September 2002

Consumer Council welcomes new opportunity for public transport

<p>The General Consumer Council, the passenger watchdog, welcomes the Government’s consultation to modernise the provision of public transport and bus licensing arrangements in Northern Ireland.</p>

Responding to the Regional Development Minister’s, Peter Robinson, announcement of the consultation on ‘A New Start for Public Transport in Northern Ireland’ the Council said that it provides a unique opportunity to improve local public transport.

Alan Walker, Consumer Affairs Officer at the General Consumer Council said:

“The Consumer Council welcomes this consultation and believe it provides an opportunity to bring Northern Ireland public transport services and legislation into the 21st Century. We now have a real chance to get an improved system that meets passenger needs. However, any new arrangements must ensure that services improve and that socially necessary and rural services are protected.”

The Council added that more funding will be required to improve services. Alan Walker said:

“For too long Translink have been asked to provide a service on a shoestring. This cannot continue. The additional funds for public transport identified in the Regional Transportation Strategy are needed to ensure that this ‘new start’ does not become a ‘false dawn’.”
1. For further information contact Alan Walker 028 9067 2488