Monkstown estate bus stop changes made after robbery

Cllr Robert Hill, community workers Phil Hamilton and Davy McCrea, Translink representatives and PSNI officers meet in Monkstown to discuss the latest bus robbery.  INNT 36-414-RM
Cllr Robert Hill, community workers Phil Hamilton and Davy McCrea, Translink representatives and PSNI officers meet in Monkstown to discuss the latest bus robbery. INNT 36-414-RM

BUS stops in Monkstown have been altered after a driver was attacked and robbed at the estate’s terminus last week.

Buses will not collect or drop off passengers at the stop at the end of Devenish Drive. Instead they will use the stops immediately before and after the terminus.

The move comes after a driver was left badly shaken following a robbery on his bus.

Three masked and armed males boarded the bus on Devenish Drive around 9.30pm last Tuesday, August 28.

This was the second incident in the estate within the past two months.

And it was the second time the driver had been left the victim of a robbery in the Newtownabbey area.

Following the incident bus drivers union Unite withdrew evening services in the estate for two nights.

They were reinstated with the altered stops after talks were held between Translink management, unions, the police, community representatives and councillors.

Gerry Mullan, Translink service delivery manager for the Newtownabbey area said: “The buses will now just use the terminus as a turning circle.

“We have had a number of meetings with the community representatives and councillors and are delighted with the public’s response in this matter.”

Community groups in the area had expressed concern that the bus company and drivers’ unions were reacting to the action of a “small group of thugs” and not serving the community.

Mr Mullan added: “That is understandable, they do not want the community to lose out on what is a valuable service that many people have to depend on.

“However, I have to weigh up the needs of our customers as well as the welfare of our drivers and we have reached a compromise with the community groups.”

Mr Mullan also said bus drivers never carried large sums of cash on buses and regularly deposited money in the depots during their shifts.

Meanwhile, two 15-year-old males and a 16-year-old appeared in court on Friday (September 1) charged with various offences in connection with Tuesday night’s robbery.