SDLP East Derry MLA Cara Hunter has welcomed a move by SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon to freeze public transport fares.
Ms Mallon said she had made the decision to help struggling families dealing with rising bills for everything from food to fuel.
Ms Hunter said the price freeze would be a welcome boost and would encourage more people to use public transport.
East Derry MLA Ms Hunter has said:
“This move from SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon will be a welcome reprieve for families across the North in the wake of rising bills and other costs. Many people rely on public transport to get to work, to visit friends and family, do their shopping or access vital services like medical treatment and they will take comfort from this announcement, safe in the knowledge that another price hike is not coming their way in the near future.
“Consumer prices have risen an average of 5.5% over the last year and indications seem to be they will only rise further, families are finding it really though to get by. Everywhere you turn there are reports of people being forced to rely on food banks in greater and greater numbers, many are struggling to find the money to pay their electricity or heating bills and the support coming forward from the Executive, even prior to its collapse, has been minimal.
“Guarding against rises in the cost of public transport in the face of skyrocketing fuel costs will also give people more options in how they travel. Minister Mallon has introduced a number of measures to encourage people to leave their vehicles at home to protect the environment from the harmful emissions they produce.
“Despite the political turmoil this place has been plunged into due to the selfishness of the DUP and while other parties focus only on their own interests, SDLP Minister Mallon is using what’s left of this mandate to put people first and protect our communities in whatever way possible. Rising costs are hurting families across the North and this important intervention from Minister Mallon will make a real difference to people here."