Belfast Telegraph

Video: Translink denies Belfast's new Glider got 'stuck' - but admits buses have issue with corners

By Jonathan Bell

Translink has rejected claims one of its newest buses - which is part of the multi-million pound Belfast Rapid Transit system - got stuck on a busy road in the city, but has admitted the Glider does have issues tackling corners.

While out on a training exercise on Monday ahead of the new buses entering service in September, one of the Gliders appeared to get stuck on a bend at a junction on the Upper Newtownards Road.

Public transport operator Translink said the driver was taking a potential "diversionary route" during the training exercise which the 18-metre long buses would not normally use during regular service.

A spokeswoman said it did not get stuck but rather was being driven under caution and the instructor got out of the vehicle to ensure it had enough clearance causing "very slight" delays.

“The Glider route has very few corners and therefore the potential for conflict when turning is minimal,” the spokeswoman added.

The £90m flagship Belfast Rapid Transit scheme from the Department for Infrastructure will introduce a new system linking the east and west of the city, as well as the Titanic Quarter. Since its launch roads along the main routes have been reconfigured to accommodate the new service while the vehicles have been undergoing testing.

Translink said it will offer a modern, efficient public transport service with shorter, more reliable journey times and high frequency services every seven-eight minutes during the working day and carrying up to 108 passengers on each bus - transforming transport in the city.

The Department of Infrastructure said the new routes will cut car capacity on those roads by between 15-20%. There have been proposals for a potential second scheme with routes linking the north and south of the city.

Belfast man Marc Smyth caught the moment on camera on Monday saying he believed the bus was stuck at the junction.

"I took an interest in it because I will be using it when it launches. But I noticed it was taking a long time to manoeuvre the bend so I knew straight away it was having trouble because I'd seen previous videos of it," he said.

"It seems the back half of it mounted the path and got stuck. Then after a bit a man got off the bus and directed the driver what to do."

A Translink spokeswoman added: “This occurred during driver training on a potential diversionary route using North Road – not part of the main Glider route.

“The vehicle was not stuck, but was being driven under caution which caused a very slight delay. The instructor got out to ensure the rear of the vehicle had enough clearance from the lights."

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