Castlereagh Alliance Councillor Michael Long and East Belfast Alliance MLA Naomi Long today handed over a petition signed by over 100 local people to Translink chiefs demanding the reinstatement of the No. 85 Citybus service to Mount Merrion, which was axed at the end of February.
Cllr Michael Long said: “Today’s meeting with Translink allowed us to highlight the huge degree of local opposition to the ending of this service. We have already received a tremendous response to our petition with well over 100 replies received. This clearly illustrates the strong desire of the local community to see their bus service returned.
“We argued that the loss of the bus service has significantly reduced access to the Ballynafeigh area, which many people use to avail of essential services like doctors’ surgeries and the library, as well as a range of shops that are not available locally. The loss of the service has caused great inconvenience to many people, especially many of older residents.”
East Belfast MLA Naomi Long, Alliance’s new Spokesperson on Regional Development, added: “We explained our concerns that the service had been dropped at a time when I had been receiving many complaints about the poor punctuality and reliability of the service. We strongly believe that if these issues were tackled by Translink, any reduction in usage over recent months could be reversed and the service maintained.”
“We have also received complaints about the punctuality of the so-called replacement service, the 29A, which takes a very circuitous route to reach the town and does not pass by the Ballynafeigh area at all.”