‘Use it or lose it’ warning over public transport

PEOPLE must use local bus and rail services or they could risk losing them for good, a Translink official has warned.

The warning came as Translink managers Arthur Hamilton and Sam Todd met with members of the council’s Planning and Consultation Committee on Monday evening (February 13) to update them on changes to local bus services over the past few months.

During a short presentation, the Translink officials outlined the improvements to services which have been implemented across the borough, including the extension of services between Belfast and Ballyclare, the new Metro route through Rathfern and improved links to Antrim Area Hospital. Mr Todd and Mr Hamilton also confirmed that Translink has already been granted a licence to operate a bus service along the proposed new link road between Templepatrick Road and Rashee Road.

The meeting gave councillors the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns about bus and rail services to/from and within the borough, particularly the Newtownabbey Town Service.

Stressing that Translink is under pressure to make efficiency savings by 2013/14, Mr Hamilton warned that some local services could be under threat if more people don’t use them.

“A day of reckoning is coming,” he told the meeting. “People need to use their service if they want to retain it - that’s the best way to do it, not by making noise or starting campaigns.”