Newly elected SDLP Assembly Member for East Derry Gerry Mullan has given his support to Bus and Transport Week organised by Translink to encourage people to try public transport and consider it as an option for the future.
Mr Mullan, who took the train from Bellarena to Belfast and then got a bus from Central Station to Stormont wants others to think about choosing public transport not just for a day or a week but as an alternative to taking the car.
He said: “I congratulate Translink on organising this initiative which I believe will encourage more people to support the public transport system both bus and train and I have no doubt they will quickly realise the benefits of arriving for work fresh with minds concentrated.
“For me, I was able to ‘let the train take the strain and the bus do it’s stuff’ leaving me free from the risk of pollution, punctures, penalty points and traffic accidents, as well as meeting other public transport users with clear views on the need to attract more people away from heavily congested and polluted roads.
“The Belfast-Derry railway is very special. A few years ago it was considered for closure but with the vision of a few public representatives and the support of thousands of people who use it, this service is now a jewel in the crown of Translink’s rail network.
“With the support of the general public we can make a very big contribution toward saving our public transport network, not only rail but bus where rising costs and decreased subsidies makes it more and more difficult to maintain services across the North.
“I would encourage everyone to make a conscious decision to leave their car at the nearest Park and Ride, relax and take the train and bus at least once a week. I have no doubt they will feel refreshed, ready for the working day and secure in the knowledge that they’re helping our environment.”