Commuter hits out over bus timetables

Thursday, 30 March 2017

A TANDRAGEE woman has called on Translink to reconsider its timetable in a bid to ensure the town is adequately serviced with buses.
Ursula Murray, who commutes four days a week to Lurgan, has called on the transport body to put on additional buses to meet the needs of workers.
According to Ursula, after the first bus leaves the market town at 8.15am, the next one from Lurgan does not leave for Tandragee until 4.15pm and this is only available during the school term.
While the third and final bus leaves Lurgan at 5.35pm, it only goes as far as Gilford, leaving commuters having to shell out further on a taxi fare.
Speaking to the Ulster Gazette, a frustrated Ursula revealed she has had to reschedule her working hours in order to ensure the necessary travel arrangements.
"There is only one bus into town at 8.15am and one at 4.15pm, but it stops when the schools are off," she explained.
"I've actually changed my hours to try and suit the buses and my employer has been very good about it.
"I now get the 4.15pm bus, but when that stops for the school holidays, I am going to have to wait for the 5.35pm bus.
"It means I am having to get a taxi from Gilford and it costs 6, which over a month is quite a bit.
"It's ridiculous, especially when there are so many buses running to Portadown and Banbridge.
"I travel to Lurgan four days a week, so if the bus was available, I would use it more.
"Their policy is to service you where you want to go. I'm just quite shocked that when I contacted them (Translink), their advice was to get a bus from Tandragee to Portadown and then from Portadown to Lurgan, but anybody working, can't afford that money," she added.
Cusher DUP Councillor Gareth Wilson said he has raised bus journey issues with Translink on a number of occasions with regards to various routes.
"I know from speaking to a number of passengers who use the services from Tandragee, that Portadown is a well used link for passengers to catch buses to other locations.
"I have spoken to Translink on the direct Lurgan/Tandragee provision and I have pressed for additional consideration to be given to more direct service link-ups and an assessment on passenger demand will be carried out," he added.
In a statement to the Ulster Gazette, a Translink spokesperson said: "There are direct morning and evening Ulsterbus route 50 services, between Lurgan and Tandragee.
“Outside of these times, there are frequent Ulsterbus connections from Lurgan to Portadown which run up to every 15 minutes and between Portadown and Tandragee".


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