Belfast Telegraph

Translink cancels all buses and trains due to strike action on Friday 13 March

No Metro, Ulsterbus or NI Railway services will operate during the day of industrial action

By Claire Cromie

Translink has cancelled ALL scheduled buses and train services this Friday - due to strike action across Northern Ireland by the Unite and GMB trade unions.

The day of industrial action by public sector workers - over budget cuts and job losses - will be one of the largest for years, organisers have said.

Members of the Unison and GMB unions working in health, education, the civil service and transport will join the 24-hour walkout on March 13.

Translink says it will not be possible to operate any scheduled bus or train services.

Spokesman Ciaran Rogan said: "I would like to apologise to all our passengers who will be inconvenienced by this strike action which is unfortunately beyond our control.

"I think it is important to give people as much notice as possible in order that they may make alternative arrangements for travel on that day."

Bus lanes

Thousands of workers (and students travelling home for St Patrick's weekend celebrations) will have to take to their cars - and the PSNI has said it will not enforce bus lanes.

Inspector Rosie Leech said: “In response to the exceptional circumstances and the additional traffic that may be on the roads as a result of the proposed public transport strike on Friday 13 March, police will not be enforcing the bus lanes.

“However this exemption does not apply where buses use the hard shoulder on the motorways.”

Schools

In relation to schools’ transport, Mr Rogan added: "We are in touch with the Education and Library Boards to find out if schools are open on Friday and to discuss options for transport."

Member of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation will also be striking.

Dublin services

There will be no guarantee of cross-border train services operating. Compensation arrangements will be in place for passengers who have pre-purchased tickets for the Enterprise train and Goldline buses to Dublin Airport. Customers who booked online will be emailed with options of a full refund or change of travel date.

As part of the Stormont House Agreement, up to 20,000 public service jobs could be lost, with a redundancy scheme funded from Westminster and a freeze on recruitment and promotions.

Read more:

Public sector strike on March 13 will be largest in years, say Unison, GMB and teachers' union 

Public services will pay as Stormont bids to keep order 

Translink boss warns firm could collapse unless fares are raised

Cuts put services and staff under threat  

Translink staff 'face 150 jobs axe' 

Translink faces commuter backlash over fare rises in spite of falling fuel prices

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