Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

6. Translink

Group chief executive: Catherine Mason

Employment: 4,042

Turnover: £185.5m

Pretax loss: £3.2m

Translink is the main provider of passenger public transport in Northern Ireland. Through its Metro, NI Railways, Goldline and Ulsterbus services, it delivers integrated travel solutions.

Overall passenger numbers on Translink services (NI Railways, Metro, Ulsterbus and Enterprise) reached 77 million last year. Rail travel in Northern Ireland continues to be a success story with passenger figures reaching a record 10.4 million last year, the highest number since the previous all-time record of 10.2 million in 2008-2009.

Meanwhile, Goldline figures have grown across all routes and Metro bus services have also maintained passenger journeys over the past year. Special promotions such as Goldline 1/3 off and Metro Smart Saturdays have encouraged more patronage on buses.

In March 2011, Translink took delivery of the first of 20 new Class 4000 (C4K) trains, representing an investment of £105million. A number of new trains are now in service with the rest to be introduced by the end of 2012. In order to attract new passengers, a number of special ‘Try the Train’ promotions have been successfully run on the Larne, Bangor and Portadown lines. As part of the ‘New Trains Two’ programme, platform extensions to accommodate extra carriages have been carried out across the network while a new train engineering facility at Adelaide in South Belfast will be completed by 2013.

Translink continues to embrace technology to supplement its customer services and, following a successful pilot scheme, introduced its train ticket to mobile phones; mLink, in January 2012. A website for mobile phones will soon be available to make timetable and customer information even more accessible and the company continues to grow its social media presence through Twitter and Facebook.

Work will begin on the upgrade of the railway line between Londonderry and Coleraine during summer 2012. This phase of the work will be completed at the end of March 2013 to accommodate Derry as the UK City of Culture in 2013.

In 2012/2013, Translink said it will support the many significant national and international events in Northern Ireland by working with tourism partners to transport thousands of domestic and overseas visitors to and from major sporting events such as the Irish Open in June and Titanic celebration events, from April onwards. In November 2011, its bus and rail services were involved in transporting thousands of fans to and from venues in Belfast for the MTV European Music Awards. In addition over 40,000 festival goers travelled on Translink bus and train services to Tennents Vital music events last August.

Work continues on the refurbishment of many of the bus and rail stations to enhance facilities for passengers. A £3.6million investment project was recently announced that will transform Portadown Train Station. In Antrim, work has recently begun on a new sustainable, integrated bus and rail centre that will see the use of the latest environmental technologies. Also, in Ballymoney, the construction of a new, fully accessible, pedestrian bridge at Ballymoney Train Station is under way.

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Belfast Telegraph


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