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‘Get On Board’ Northern Ireland’s first ever Bus and Train Week

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Pamela Ballantine, Pete Snodden and Stephen Clements are calling on everyone to ‘Get On Board’ Northern Ireland’s first ever Bus and Train Week which runs from 6 June to 12 June 2016.

Bus and Train Week is a new initiative to encourage more people to give the bus and train a go, and to emphasise the importance of public transport to the economy and wider society. The week is based around six key themes which demonstrate how an efficient public transport system makes our economy stronger and supports education, tourism, environmental responsibility and health and active travel while also building a more inclusive society. Throughout the week there will be events, special fares and other activities taking place with a number of local authorities, community organisations and business representatives involved.

To launch the Northern Ireland wide campaign, the broadcasting stars met with the public this morning in Belfast’s city centre to drive awareness of one of the week’s key themes, the associated health benefits of hopping on-board the bus and train.

At the launch Chris Conway, CEO, Translink, talked about value of public transport to Northern Ireland:

“Translink is focused on providing integrated public transport, to enable a thriving Northern Ireland. Public transport is essential for a modern progressive region, with research indicating that every £1 spent on public transport contributes £4 to the wider economy.  Buses and trains support local communities in cities and towns across Northern Ireland. They drive economic growth and social inclusion, reduce congestion, get people to work and education, and benefit the environment.”

Chris continued, “Customers will benefit from a range of discounted fares in addition to our everyday value tickets across all of our services, and an exciting programme of events is planned. So we are asking people and organisations to ‘Get On Board’ Bus and Train Week 2016 and help us promote the many benefits of public transport. In particular we would love for people who don’t normally take the bus or train to give it a try, so they too can see the benefits for themselves.”

Gillian Parker, Communications & Marketing Manager, Chest, Heart and Stroke commented on the initiative, and in particular the health benefits of taking the bus:

“It’s the small things that can make a big difference. The simple act of walking to and from the bus-stop or using travel time productively can help reduce stress and lower blood pressure. I personally use my time on my daily commute to order my Tesco shopping or bury my head in a good book. It means I arrive to work without having to stress about traffic and I already feel like I am winning!”

Pete Snodden, Celebrity Ambassador also spoke about the campaign at the launch:

“As an ‘early bird’ on the radio traffic isn’t usually something I have to worry about. However, every day listeners to the show tell us about their frustration of sitting in traffic on their way to work. So when Translink challenged me to document a typical commute at rush hour, both by train and by car from my home in Bangor, I couldn’t say no! So join me and ‘Get On Board’ for Bus and Train Week 2016 – keep an eye out for my experience which will be released in the coming weeks.”

A series of events and celebrations will be hosted in stations, businesses and organisations across Northern Ireland during the week of the 6 June to 12 June. For more information and a full list of special offers visit www.translink.co.uk/busandtrainweek.  Join in the conversation online using #GetOnBoardNI.

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