In response to the NI Executive Draft Budget 2021-2022 Consultation, Translink has called for support to maintain and expand the local public transport network to enable wider benefits for the people of Northern Ireland.
The Department of Finance (DoF) has recently published the Northern Ireland draft Budget for 2021/22. This sets out a minimal increase in funding for Infrastructure over the next year (0.7m). The potential impact of funding challenges for public transport raises concerns in relation to providing the pre-Covid levels of local bus and train services particularly given the dramatic impact on passenger numbers due to Covid-19.
In their document issued to the DoF, Translink outline the key role public transport has to play in developing vibrant, modern and competitive cities and regions. They state that more use of buses and trains will help address the challenges of climate change and air quality, creating healthier towns and cities across Northern Ireland.
Translink has called for Covid-19 to be a “defining moment” to make fundamental changes in how we manage mobility and put sustainability at the heart of decision making. They call on the DoF to support public transport further to not only bring people and communities together, but also help the economic, social and environmental recovery of our region going forward.