Transport
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15th June 2011

Relief for public transport passengers as Translink holds fares

Translink’s announcement to hold its current fare levels will come as a relief to Northern Ireland consumers who have had to endure cost of living increases during 2011, but improvements are needed to encourage people onto public transport.

Giving evidence at today’s Regional Development Committee, Aodhan O’Donnell, Director of Policy at the Consumer Council said:  “We are pleased that Northern Ireland passengers will not be facing increased fares at a time when the cost of travel is a major concern.  It’s an obvious point, but consumers are more likely to use public transport if they believe that the service is providing good value for money.” 

The cost of travel is a key issue and holding fares is good news, however availability, reliability and customer service are also important factors to encourage more people to use our bus and rail services.

Aodhan said ‘“Latest transport statistics show that passenger numbers are falling on Translink services[1], particularly on Ulsterbus and Metro services.  Whilst holding fares is welcome, Translink faces a challenge to maintain bus and rail services which meet the needs and expectations of consumers.  Encouraging increased use of public transport depends on people having access to that service - any potential reductions in bus and rail routes across the Translink network could impact heavily on passengers. 

Addressing these issues must be a key priority for Translink and as the passenger representative for all public transport users in Northern Ireland the Consumer Council is keen to work closely with Translink to ensure the needs of consumers are met.”

 

ENDS

  1. Consumer Council media contact: Irene Overend, telephone, 028 9067 4816 or 07825147496 or e-mail, ioverend@consumercouncil.org.uk  
  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 www.consumercouncil.org.uk



[1] The latest available information on passenger numbers show that during July to September 2010 passengers made 6.97 million journeys on Ulsterbus (down from 7.18m during the same period in 2009), 5.88 million journeys on Metro (down from 6.04m during the same period in 2009) whilst the number of journeys on NI Railways increased slightly to 2.47 million (from 2.45m during the same period in 2009). Source: Northern Ireland Road and Rail Transport Statistics July to September 2010, DRD

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