Figures show public transport is even more important during downturn

Alliance Sustainability Spokesperson Cllr Alan Lawther has stated that improving public transport is necessary, now more than ever, given the effects of the economic downturn. Figures from a survey have showed that train use in Northern Ireland has increased 12% between 2007 and 2008. He called on the Stormont Executive to improve bus and train services and use a green approach to deal with the impact of the downturn.

Antrim Councillor Alan Lawther said: “Improvements to the public transport network are necessary given the large increase in the number of people using trains locally. More people are using services, so increased frequency should boost this usage further.

“The economic downturn has obviously forced people to use cheaper transport options. Many are trying to use their car less, so public transport is an area which must be expanded by the Stormont Executive to meet demand. The Executive should be adopting a green approach to addressing these tough economic times.

“There is a genuine opportunity for better public transport here, because of increased demand. The Executive must not miss out on this opportunity. People on lower incomes are being hit hard by the downturn – improved bus and train services would greatly improve labour mobility and tackle social exclusion.”


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