I met with the manager of the Translink depot in Bangor today (Tuesday 23 March) and he answered a number of questions for me which I thought would be of interest to those who use the Bangor – Ballywalter (3c Service) or the Donaghdee-Bloomfield Loop bus (303A Service).
These are the only two bus services in the area that are being included in the Bus Service Consultation. We are being asked to share our thoughts on the possibility of cutting back on these services as part of a Translink-wide undertaking to try to save £15m which is the total of the funding they are losing thanks to the cut backs from Stormont.
You can share your thoughts on the online survey here. Consultation runs until April 3rd 2015. www.translink.co.uk/servicechanges
So here are a few facts about Translink you might not know:
- Loss of funding of £15m = 20% of the company’s turnover
- Translink has already identified £2.1m in administrative savings
- Translink has a reserve of £60m – but that has all been earmarked for capital expenditure over the coming years.
- While bus fares in Northern Ireland have increased by 6%since 2011, in GB they have increased 19% and in RoI 38%
So while I am not an apologist for Translink, there is obviously a need for them to review their services and see where they can cut back while making the least negative impact on our lives.
While I wasn’t able to get actual passenger numbers for the two routes in question, my observations certainly of the 3C service is that – apart from the commuter/school runs in the morning and evening – they are very under utilised.
However, until Translink has completed its Consultation and made public their findings, reaction and petitions are premature.