Retain No. 85 bus service: Alliance

Castlereagh Alliance Councillor Michael Long and East Belfast Alliance MLA Naomi Long held a meeting on Thursday with Translink chiefs to demand the reinstatement of the No. 85 Citybus service to Mount Merrion, which was axed at the end of February.

In the past fortnight, the Alliance representatives have received support from over 100 local residents for their petition demanding that the service is restored.

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 already received.

“Once the responses have all come in, we will present them to Translink representatives who are considering the arguments that we put, including the fact that it will be far more difficult for local people to access services, such as the library and doctor’s surgeries, at Ballynafeigh. The loss of the service will also cause 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.”

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