Belfast Telegraph

Cuts put services and staff under threat

By Adrian Rutherford

Translink is Northern Ireland's public transport operator, employing 3,940 people across its Metro, NI Railways and Ulsterbus services.

It is subsidised by the taxpayer and is facing severe financial pressure after being told its budget has been cut.

This year the company is facing a £10m reduction, followed by a £13m cut in the next year.

That has led to a wave of cost-cutting exercises, including plans to lay off 150 staff and a reduction in bus services. In December this newspaper reported how towns across Northern Ireland could have their bus services reduced.

A leaked document showed proposals to withdraw services from 14 towns. Another seven would have their bus provision cut.

The current boss of Translink is David Strahan.

He was appointed last October but announced earlier this year that he would be standing down in the autumn to become a gospel preacher.

Mr Strahan's salary is £156,000 - a £44,000 reduction on his predecessor.

According to Translink's most recent annual report, staff and wage costs rose from £97,411,000 in 2013 to £105,790,000 last year.

Directors' pay and fees rose from £343,000 to £356,000 in the same period.

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