Translink confirms changes to bus and rail services

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Translink has announced details of changes to its services in the Newtownabbey area, which are due to come into effect at the end of the month.

Changes to rail services will commence on Sunday, August 30, while changes to the bus and coach services operated by the company will start on Monday, September 1.

Under the changes, there will be some frequency changes to the Metro 1 service as well as a reduction to morning and evening services on the 163/563 and 169 bus services. Changes will also be made to services provided by bus numbers 153, 156, 253/A and 256.

The number of bus stops in Belfast city centre for the Metro buses which serve the Newtownabbey area will also be reduced. Currently there are two stops on Royal Avenue, although under the changes there will now only be one stop at Castlecourt.

“The alterations to the services are part of Translink’s plans to reduce costs due to the significant reduction in public funding in 2015/16,” a statement released by Translink said.

Ciarán Rogan from Translink explained that a consultation process had taken place, and that the changes to the services reflect the feedback that customers and stakeholders had provided.

“The service changes have been made based on feedback from our customers and a range of stakeholders and will enable us to continue providing services that are accessible and efficient while providing the best value for money,” Mr Rogan said.

“We would now encourage our customers to familiarise themselves with any changes to their specific services in case they need to adapt their usual travel plans, especially as a number of services have been re-timed and there are also some Ulsterbus and Metro bus stop location changes in Belfast City Centre, including Metro 1,” Mr Rogan added.

Translink will be holding a public information session on Monday, August 24 between 9.45am and 3pm in the Valley Leisure Centre. The session is aimed at helping passengers to plan their journeys. Translink staff will also travel on board local Metro and NI Railways services to engage with passengers from August 17.

Further details regarding Translink bus and rail service changes, and information about the public information sessions can be found at www.translink.co.uk/newtimetables

Passengers can also download the Translink Journey Planner App or call 02890 666630. Printed timetables will also be available to pick up from local stations in the coming weeks.

There is also an information leaflet available in large print, Braille or audio tape for visually impaired customers.