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Coronavirus: Translink reduces services in response to pandemic

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has announced a reduction in the level of public transport provision in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

From Monday all Translink bus services will operate a reduced service timetable and NI Railways will operate a Saturday timetable.

Translink is also reducing the service timetable for cross-border coach and Enterprise rail services.

The minister confirmed that the changes have been introduced in response to the latest government advice to avoid all non-essential travel and on social distancing.

Mrs Mallon said the measures will have a dramatic impact on the public transport network but that it was the right thing to do.

“It is the right step to take given the clear advice from government to avoid all non-essential travel and on social distancing and its effectiveness in the fight against COVID-19. Advice we must all follow.

"The changes to the timetables will ensure we can continue to provide public transport coverage across Northern Ireland while responding to the impact of reduced demand. The public should be assured for those who need to travel, public transport will continue to operate and we will continue to ensure all those using public transport can do so safely in line with guidance on social distancing.

“Keeping communities across the North safe at this very concerning time is my priority and I want to reassure the public that 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”

Full details of the new timetables are available on Translink’s website and journey planner.

Chris Conway, group chief executive of Translink said he was committed to maintaining public transport services so that the public can continue to make essential journeys.

“The reduced service timetables will ensure we protect the geographic coverage of the network with reduced frequency on some services which is more in line with what is currently needed given the recent health advice and numbers of people now working from home," he said.

Translink has enhanced its cleaning regimes and are minimising contact between staff and customers.

“We are urging our staff and the public to follow the advice given by the public health agency, including applying social distancing, while using our services to ensure we all stay safe and limit the spread of the virus.," Mr Conway added.

“We would encourage our customers to familiarise themselves with any changes to their specific services in case they need to adapt their usual travel plans.

For the latest timetable updates use the Journey planner or visit the website or call the contact centre on 028 90 66 66 30.

Belfast Telegraph