Talking about our success

"thousands more choosing to use our service"
12 October 2012


Dear Colleagues,

There was media coverage yesterday of questions raised by the Committee for Regional Development about Translink’s performance.  I was happy to speak on the radio to share some facts about how we are successfully delivering bus and rail services. 

Most importantly, it is a fact that we are growing; hundreds of thousands more people are choosing to use our services this year, and that customer satisfaction is high due to the hard work of all our employees.

In addition, we are not loss making. Translink did not make a loss last year or the year before and we will not make a loss this year. The background to this story is that the NI Assembly is proposing reducing funding to us in the next 2 years.  Bus funding for instance is dropping from just below £40m per annum to just above £30m; this represents a drop of 23%. The deficit being talked about is simply the funding cut.

It seems to be accepted now that funding for public transport is lower in NI than elsewhere.  Despite this a comparison of bus and rail services in Northern Ireland with GB and RoI shows we have higher service levels and lower fares.  The real question is about the sort of public transport system NI wants and what share of funding NI wants to put to passenger transport versus roads. If we are to have a low carbon, sustainable economy then investment in public transport should be increasing not decreasing.

Of course we are currently working with the DRD to see if we can secure more funding for public transport and to develop a business plan to minimise the impact of any reductions.  It is important that the success we have delivered in growing customer numbers is not put in jeopardy.

I think it is important I speak out and highlight the success we are – brought about by the hard work and commitment of all Translink employees.

Catherine Mason,

Group Chief Executive