On track for a safety first Christmas

Claire Sugden
Claire Sugden

Translink is promising further measures to prevent alcohol consumption and anti-social behaviour on trains in the run up to the festive period.

Additional passenger checks and mobile support unit back up are among the proposals following concerns raised by East Londonderry MLA Claire Sugden after an incident in Portrush at the start of October when a serious threat was made against a member of staff.

The former Justice Minister, whose office has also been contacted by passengers about alleged overcrowding of trains, said: “Following recent incidents on trains in the area, and as we approach the busy Christmas period, I have contacted Translink NI to find out what extra measures will be put in place to ensure passenger safety.

“We can all expect public transport to be busy at certain times, but it is important that those using public transport feel able to do so with confidence that they are safe.

“I would call for Translink to ensure that measures such as extra conductors, and security are put in place in time for the festive season.”

Responding to the independent unionist’s comments, Translink said safety of passengers and staff is “our number one priority”.

“We view anti-social behaviour as completely unacceptable and we work in close co-operation with the PSNI to tackle it,” a Translink spokesperson said.

“During the busy pre-Christmas period, we will have additional passenger checks to prevent any alcohol consumption on board our trains. Our body worn cameras will be in operation across the rail network and station staff and conductors will use panic alarms which also record audio if they are activated.

“Our mobile support unit will travel between stations giving additional support.

“We offer a reward of up to £1,000 for information which leads to a successful prosecution.”