Castlereagh Alliance Councillor, Michael Long, and East Belfast Assembly Member, Cllr Naomi Long, have now received well over 400 signatures on a post back petition in just a fortnight, demanding the reinstatement of the Number 34 bus service from Mount Merrion to the Cregagh Road. They said that they have been overwhelmed by the response which clearly demonstrates local support for the bus service.
Cllr. Michael Long said, “Alliance has tried to work with Translink over the last number of years to improve services in the area and encourage people to use public transport. We lobbied long and hard to get a limited service to cover the Mount Merrion/Ormeau Road link re-established.
“However, the recent decision to axe the link to the Cregagh Road, completely removing this service, has seriously disadvantaged many people, and particularly older people in the Cregagh/Wynchurch/Rosetta area, who have been cut off from their Post Office, doctor and dental surgeries, and the shops at Cregagh Road and Woodstock. People are angry not just at the removal of the service but also at the way it has been handled, with no prior warning or discussion. They want to be able to access both the Cregagh and Ormeau Road, not just one or the other.
Assembly Member Cllr Naomi Long said, “Every day we are receiving dozens more responses from local people who have taken the time to post back these petition forms. I feel that this quite clearly demonstrates the strength of feeling of residents on this issue. I can assure local people that Alliance will continue to lobby Translink on their behalf until we get the service restored.
“We will be passing the complete petition to both Translink and the General Consumer Council, who will be assisting Translink with their review of the service, in due course. Our message to Translink is clear – the demand for better bus services is there, and they need to reconsider this short-sighted decision.”