Translink has announced changes to the weekend frequency of some of its bus sevices amid the coronavirus crisis.
It says weekend service frequency adjustments "will be made to local bus services from Saturday, April 25". "This is in response to customer demand and to better cater for essential workers who need to travel at peak times."
"The new weekend timetable will see some additional peak services across the network introduced for essential workers, in particular, those travelling to local hospitals and healthcare facilities," Chris Conway, Translink chief executive, said.
"We also have extra buses in place on some routes to ensure we have capacity to allow for social distancing.
"However, off peak frequencies will be reduced on Ulsterbus at weekends alongside Metro Saturday evening services in response to customer demand.
"As always, the safety and wellbeing of our passengers and employees is vitally important to us and as such we have continued to introduce measures to keep everyone safe. This includes new social distancing signage in stations and on board, regular deep cleaning of vehicles and facilities, use of mobile cleaning teams during the day, erecting screens to reduce staff and passenger interaction on board and in stations; and providing hand sanitiser and gloves to front line staff."
And Minister for Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon MLA, said: “As we continue our fight against the Covid-19 outbreak and people are following Government advice to stay at home, I have approved a further adjustment in Translink’s service provision.
"This will allow Translink to focus their efforts on providing travel for key workers and ensure that people have access to essential services. However, let me be clear, no geographical area is losing services and people will continue to be able to practise social distancing on our public transport network.
“My priority at this time is keeping our communities safe and my department is doing everything it can to ensure essential services and connections are maintained for those using and reliant on our infrastructure network. I will keep the public transport situation under constant review in line with government advice on public health."
“I continue to offer my support and gratitude to Translink staff for their ongoing dedication in operating these vital frontline services at this challenging time.
“Finally, I want to emphasise once again that people should only travel if their journey is absolutely essential. If we continue to work together we can play our part in the fight back and save lives.”
For more information visit www.translink.co.uk/covid19update or call the contact centre on 02890 666630