DUP MP's Short Strand Belfast bus stop 'serious concerns' - but it's 'traditional' says Translink
MP says stop should reflect area it's in
DUP MP Emma Little-Pengelly has written to Transport NI to express her "serious concerns" about the naming of a stop on the new Belfast Rapid Transit Route.
The South Belfast MP said she was contacted by a constituent concerned about the naming of a stop on the Albertbridge Road as 'Short Strand'.
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She said that that the name "does not reflect either the area or the history of the area in which the stop is situated" and was "clearly not a Short Strand stop".
However a Translink spokesperson confirmed to the Belfast Telegraph that the new stop "replaces a Metro shelter which has traditionally been named 'Short Strand'".
Mrs Little-Pengelly has been informed by Transport NI that the stops had already been named and would not be changed.
The name was chosen as the stop was paired with the halt at Short Strand.
She has now requested a meeting with Transport NI alongside East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson to discuss the naming policy and express her concerns.
"I am therefore not happy that the halt has now been physically named in such an inaccurate way," Mrs Little-Pengelly wrote in a letter to a constituent.
She said that she would be speaking with constituents to gauge their views on the issue and setting up a petition for the renaming of the stop.
After revealing her feelings on the issue on Twitter, Mrs Little-Pengelly attracted criticism for her attempt to rename the stop.
Oh, calm down. Are place names only allowed to be important for some people? Albertbridge has a lot of history. Retaining such means something. It is a small, local issue. I am here to represent. So sad you read into it with prejudice.— E Little-Pengelly (@little_pengelly) July 26, 2018
The halts are in pairs, though. Hence the naming convention. They're effectively the same stop: one country-bound halt, one city bound, but both with the same name/location descriptor.— Naomi Long MEP (@naomi_long) July 27, 2018
Honestly trying to understand why it's an issue to use the name alreasy given on the stops?
It is a “small local” issue - so much so that the people in the small locality didn’t actually warrant consultation? Short Strand has lots of history too, including a history of this stop/halt having always been called “Short Strand”. #Mixer https://t.co/OFvyo2UkBb— Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile ⭕️ (@NiallSF) July 26, 2018
Alliance Party leader Naomi Long said she could not understand why the name of the stop was an issue, while Sinn Fein Senator Niall O Donnghaile said that there was a history of the stop being named 'Short Strand'.
The South Belfast MP defended her position saying "there has been confusion about this issue".
"My letter references the Halt at the Lower Woodstock side of the Albertbridge Road, South Belfast," she wrote.
"I have never made any representations about the name of the Halt at Short Strand, East Belfast on the other side of the Albertbridge Road.
"Local South Belfast residents had contacted me to see if the Halt at Lower Woodstock could be more accurately named as it is in an area that would not be considered Short Strand. The naming is part of the pairing policy of Translink NI. This is what I was working locally on."
Belfast Telegraph Digital