Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Translink accused of blatant disregard to rural areas

Sinn Féin councillor Terry Hearty has criticized Translink for what he described as its “indifference” to rural areas.

Speaking after a recent meeting with Ulsterbus management in Newry regarding the possibility of a marginal increase in service to south Armagh, Councillor Hearty said it was clear the company’s main concern is profits over people.

“I met with Ulsterbus Management in Newry regarding the possibility of an occasional evening bus from Newry to south Armagh and was deeply disappointed by their attitude,” he said.

“The last bus leaves Newry for south Armagh at 6.15pm meaning young people from the area aren’t able to go to the cinema, attend clubs or make use of the new swimming pool or sports centre in the evenings unless they have another way home.

“I had hoped we could discuss the possibility of an evening bus, even just one or two nights a week, but it was quickly made apparent to me that Translink’s main concern was profits, not providing services to people,” the councillor claimed.

“South Armagh residents are paying their rates the same as everybody else to provide the new Leisure Centre and paying their taxes the same as everybody else to fund Translink, yet it seems that on both counts the young people of the area won’t receive the same services.

“Translink would do well to remember that they are a publicly funded company and their job is to provide services.  When you look at some of the enormous salaries of their senior officials, it becomes clear why there is no money to provide a service to the young people of south Armagh.”