Robin Swann, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assemblyman, and member of the Stormont Agriculture Committee, has warned that Translink’s proposed fares increase could “well deal a massive body blow to people who live in rural areas of the constituency”.
Assemblyman Swann is also North Antrim UUP Chairman and Party Chief Whip. He said: “I will be voicing my very serious concerns at Translink’s proposed fare increases.
“As UUP Chief Whip, I will be asking our party representatives on the Regional Development committee to urgently request that Translink officials appear before them to fully explain the rationale for these increases.
“Regardless of a Translink argument that the increase in fares in necessary for the firm to maintain its budgets, the fact of the matter is that Translink can look elsewhere for this budget deficit, rather than taking the easy option and putting the burden on their passengers.
“Furthermore, the proposed fare increases will have devastating effects on rural communities, who are dependent on public transport.
“In a month which has seen an all-time high in fuel prices, this was the perfect opportunity for Translink to maintain its current prices and encourage an increasing number of car users of the benefits of using public transport.
“I hope that Translink will see sense and postpone the increase in fares, and seize the opportunity to increase its passenger numbers instead,” said Assemblyman Swann.