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Special Transport plan for 148th Open

Monday 15 April 2019

I hope you all enjoyed the golf at the weekend, last week we announced our biggest ever special transport plan, for the 148th Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club, July 14th-21st, when many of these top golfers and their fans will descend on Northern Ireland.


"encouraging people to engage in a more active lifestyle by walking or cycling to their bus stops or train stations"

Tens of thousands of people will be travelling to the North Coast to watch this world-class golf event and we want to deliver hassle free journeys, reduce traffic congestion and ensure everyone enjoys their visit to Northern Ireland and the Causeway Coast and Glens. Visitors to The Open are being encouraged to use public transport to get there. Our plan includes a significantly enhanced transport offering, with a range of bus, coach, train and Park & Ride options.  We’re also working hard to complete construction of our new Portrush Train Station to give spectators a warm welcome and we look forward to bringing thousands of additional visitors to the Causeway Coast to enjoy all the Championship action.

Last week we welcomed fellow members of the Urban Transport Group (UTG) on a visit to Belfast to learn more about some of our key investments, including the £90m Glider project.  UTG is a UK-wide network of city area transport authorities, which makes the case for transport that supports inclusive and sustainable growth. The organisation brings together regions which account for more than 20 million people and we have a lot to share and learn from each other. Our visitors observed how Glider operates before paying a visit to the Milewater Service Centre. They were also briefed on Translink’s forthcoming developments including the recent planning approval for the Belfast Transport Hub, which has the potential to transform travel in Northern Ireland. 

Last week I met representatives of Cycling UK and Sustrans to hear more about the Cycle Friendly Employer (CFE) accreditation scheme and how it can benefit businesses and employees. A number of major employers in Belfast have signed up to the CFE scheme which is aimed at encouraging staff to commute to work by bike. Promoting active travel aligns to our growth strategy by encouraging people to engage in a more active lifestyle by walking or cycling to their bus stops or train stations. As part of our own Wellbeing strategy we also want to encourage employees to engage in an active lifestyle and are considering how this scheme may benefit Translink staff.

We had a great response to the Big Shops Showdown in support of Cancer Focus last Friday. As well as the donations of clothes, books and other items, a Translink team manned the Cancer Focus shop on the Ormeau Road in Belfast from 10am to 4pm last Friday, with a funfair themed takeover, as part of a fundraising contest between different organisations. This was followed by a sell-out pub quiz at McHughs. Translink employees have already raised more than £6,000 for our charity partner Cancer Focus. Well done to everyone involved.

Also, well done to our marketing and communications team who won the UK Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Excellence Award for “Innovation-Best New Service” for the Glider launch. Congratulations to all involved.