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Coronavirus: Translink to refund season ticket holders now working at home

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Changes: Nichola Mallon

Changes: Nichola Mallon

William Cherry/Presseye

Changes: Nichola Mallon

Translink is moving to help commuters who have bought season tickets for regular rail or bus journeys but now find themselves having to work from home because of the coronavirus emergency.​

Tens of thousands of people are now remote working in a bid to keep their physical interaction with others to a minimum, and reduce the prospect of being infected or infecting others with Covid-19. A Translink spokeswoman told the Belfast Telegraph the company was alert to the issue.

"We are putting together a refunds policy that will be sympathetic to what is happening," she said. "We value our season ticket holders and will look at each refund request."

Daily, weekly and monthly travel cards are available. There are also special annual travel cards which not only cover a daily commute but also offer unlimited weekend travel on services operated by Translink.

It comes as Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon approved a reduction in the level of public transport provision as a response to the Covid-19 outbreak. From Monday Translink bus services (Ulsterbus, Metro and Glider) 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.

Ms Mallon confirmed that the changes have been introduced in response to the latest Government advice to avoid all non-essential travel and on social distancing.

"These measures will have a dramatic impact on our public transport network but 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."

Belfast Telegraph