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Translink careful only to use taxis as a last resort

Translink agrees with David McNarry MLA (Write Back, May 15) on the importance of value for money.

Taxis are used to get train passengers home when last connections have been missed following delays, or to quickly move staff when they are "out-of-position" in the event of unscheduled working (often very late night, or very early morning), arising, say, from a security alert or other incident.

Of course, the first choice is to use an alternative bus or rail service - if available - but when this is not possible, a taxi may be used if it is lower-cost than running an unscheduled bus or train. This is closely controlled and we are very mindful of value for money, as well as looking after our customers.

It goes without saying that taxis are not used to routinely bring staff to and from work.

The wider issue of the funding of bus and rail services in Northern Ireland is raised by Mr McNarry; this was also covered in a recent Northern Ireland Audit Office report.

It is clear that funding of public transport is lower in Northern Ireland than Wales, Scotland, England and the Republic of Ireland. However, it is acknowledged that fares in Northern Ireland remain generally lower, "on-time" performance compares among the best and it is also the case that rural transport provision in Northern Ireland is more extensive.



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