You are on record as stating that public transport should be promoted as an alternative to private car use. Many people, including those who cannot afford to keep a car on the road, rely on public transport. Yet job cuts at the engineering division at Translink will lead to a worse service as a backlog of buses awaiting maintenance and health and safety inspections will inevitably reduce the number of buses in use. For example, it has been raised that 28 jobs could be cut from the engineering section at the Falls Road Translink depot – more than 10% of engineering workers at the depot. This will inevitably have a knock-on impact on the workload of the remaining workers and will result in a worse public bus service. It is the opposite of promoting public transport.
As Minister for Regional Development, the provision of public transport is your responsibility. In order to defend public transport and jobs, I call on you to immediately intervene to overrule any steps to carry out redundancies and job losses in Translink on behalf of the workers, their families and the public interest. Workers at Translink have noticed that Ministerial intervention into government-owned companies, such as your intervention into NI Water, is not unprecedented.
I would also call on you as Minister for Regional Development to reply to this letter to state whether you are opposed or not opposed to job losses and redundancies at Translink. This is a very serious matter for workers at Translink and the general public. I look forward to your reply.