Translink has confirmed it is to reduce the number of services it provides in Comber.
The company blamed the current economic downturn and said that, like most organisations, it was facing severe “financial pressures in the year ahead” and that it was taking steps “to address these pressures to ensure that we continue to operate as efficiently as possible”. The move will affect Darragh Road and Dermott Avenue in the town.
“We are doing this in a balanced way in order to minimise the impact on our customers as we must protect the current extensive integrated network coverage and continue to grow passenger numbers,” the spokeswoman said.
“Some of our town services do not even cover their direct costs (bus, driver, fuel) as passenger numbers continue to be low. Therefore, regrettably we are unable to sustain these services and while we have made every effort to maintain the town service network in some cases, frequency and hours of operation have had to be reduced.
“Service changes of this nature are always a last resort, however we must make the best use of the resources we have available in order to continue to provide better services overall for our passengers.
“We will continue to monitor the market and where there is sustainable demand we will review the level of service provided.”
Councillor Michelle McIlveen expressed her disappointment at the news.
“It is very disappointing that the review undertaken by Translink has resulted in this additional reduction,” said Councillor McIlveen.
“I have been advised by Translink that some of its town services do not even cover direct costs such as the bus, driver and fuel and that passenger numbers have continued to be low.
“I have a certain amount of sympathy with Translink given the costs to the company, but this news will be of little solace to those regular customers who rely on these services.”
The new Comber Bus timetable began this week.