Translink slammed for ‘no warning’ school bus withdrawal

East Belfast Alliance Assembly Member, Naomi Long MLA, has accused Translink of showing a “cavalier disregard for their passengers”, following news of the no-warning withdrawal of services between Four Winds and Grosvenor Grammar

School and the late service to Dundonald. Cllr Long is seeking an urgent meeting with Translink officials to discuss the issue.

Naomi Long, Alliance Education and Regional Development, said, “I received a number of calls from worried parents who found out last night that the service from Four Winds will be withdrawn only when the pupils from the school were told by their bus driver that they wouldn’t have a service from next Monday.

“I spoke with the Headmaster of Grosvenor first thing this morning and he too only found out late in the afternoon yesterday. Other schools such as Wellington College, Newtownbreda, Knockbreda and Lisnasharragh will all potentially be affected.

“Initially, the Principal was told that there would be no change to service affecting the school, but that the service from Dundonald would be going “Metro” under the new arrangements. Now it appears that there is to be a complete withdrawal of the bus service to the school from Four Winds and of the late bus

from Dundonald, which means that pupils involved in extra-curricular activities in the schools will have no bus service to get home.

“Schools liaise regularly with Translink about transport and it is almost inconceivable that no-one in Translink would realise the impact that this would have on these schools, and yet no-one thought to talk to the school, to consult with the parents, or even inform them properly of the impact.

“This lack of transparency and cavalier disregard for their passengers is becoming the hallmark of dealings with Translink of late. For example, Alliance sat in many meetings with residents and Translink over the last year to get the Mount Merrion via Ormeau Road service reinstated and, in all the protracted discussions, not once did they even mention that the alternate half hourly service from Mount Merrion via Cregagh Road to the City Centre was to be withdrawn.

She concluded, “No company can flourish if the very people who they depend on are treated with this kind of breath-taking contempt.”

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