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13th December 2004

THREE HUNDRED NEW REASONS TO GO BY BUS

<p>Passenger representative, the General Consumer Council, today welcomed the Government’s announcement of a major £50 million investment in 300 new buses for Translink services across Northern Ireland.</p>

Alan Walker, Head of Consumer Affairs at the Consumer Council said: “We welcome this announcement and commitment today.  This investment should help to improve the quality and comfort of travelling by bus. In addition, the buses are more accessible to people with disabilities, those with reduced mobility and parents travelling with children in prams and buggies.  Along with the new trains that have recently entered service, this will make public transport a more attractive option for passengers. 

“However, punctuality is key for passengers and we must ensure that alongside the new vehicles that more bus priority measures, such as bus lanes, are introduced to provide the maximum benefit for passengers.  Such commitment and investment is vital to encourage more people to use public transport and reach the targets set out in the Regional Transportation Strategy. In doing so, bus lanes must be respected by car owners and enforced by Government.  This will help deliver a punctual, attractive, successful and sustainable bus network across Northern Ireland.” 

The Council hopes that measures such as Quality Bus Corridors outlined in the Belfast Metropolitan Transport Network are developed further to ensure that the new high frequency bus services to be introduced in the New Year increase the reliability and punctuality of bus services in the Belfast metropolitan area.

  1. General Consumer Council media contact: Susie Brown, telephone, 028 9067 4807 or e-mail, susie.brown@gccni.org.uk
  2. The General 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 electricity, natural gas, coal and passenger transport.
  3. For more information, visit our website at www.gccni.org.uk
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