Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

5. Translink

Group chief executive: Catherine Mason

Employment: 4,148

Turnover: £185.6m

Loss: £4.6m

Translink is the main provider of public transport in Northern Ireland, including Metro, NI Railways and Ulsterbus services.

It is a wholly-owned public sector organisation reponsible to the Minister and Department of Regional Development.

Translink says ongoing investment in services, facilities and vehicles have resulted in high passenger numbers being sustained despite the economic challenges over the last year.

NI Railways is on schedule to carry more than 10m passengers this year and rail passenger numbers are up by over 70% since 2002.

The first of Translink’s 20 new Class 4000 (C4K) trains, representing an investment of £105m are on schedule to start arriving this spring, with the last train arriving in 2012. They will be introduced into passenger service by the end of the year.

A necessary new maintenance facility is planned and construction is due to commence this year. A number of platform extensions are also ongoing in preparation for longer trains to operate to increase capacity.

Goldline and Metro bus services have also experienced growth of over 30% in recent years through focusing on high frequency and punctuality as well as ticketing and promotions.

The company says passenger information is now easier to get and use with the new-look Translink website. It has also introduced the use of social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

Recent examples of refurbishment work include the launch of a new park and ride facility at Cairnshill in South Belfast, the construction of a park and ride facility with increased parking spaces for disabled passengers at Carrickfergus and the roll out of 60 new high-capacity Ulsterbus vehicles. Infrastructure works are also underway to upgrade the track between Coleraine and Portrush.

Translink has introduced carbon reduction and energy efficiency initiatives. Last year it won the Carbon Standard Award and Climate Change Award from Business in the Community.

In 2009, Translink suffered a pretax loss of £9m compared to a £0.1m profit the year before. This year sees a loss of £4.6m that, whilst still a loss, is a £4.4m step in the right direction.

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Belfast Telegraph


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