Translink apologises over bus access gaffe

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Translink has apologised to a young woman who reached the end of her tether when, attempting to board the Belfast to Derry bus last Sunday, she encountered access difficulties for what she said was the umpteenth time.

Elaine Brolly, from the Foreglen, said she was exasperated when she went to board the 2pm service and found the coach was not fully accessible.

Ms. Brolly, who uses a wheelchair, said she specifically contacted the Translink contact centre in advance of the journey. She said she now does this as a matter of course as on several occasions she has had issues accessing vehicles.

“I make a point of personally requesting the wheelchair access 24 hours in advance,” she explained. “Sometimes this involves the two front seats being taken out.”

This is exactly what should have happened on Sunday but Ms. Brolly’s message got lost somewhere between the contact centre and the bus.

She was left waiting in the cold while the driver removed the seats there and then before departing.

“Sort your communications out,” said Ms. Brolly. “I’ve had this problem before. Either I’ve been told by the bus driver that the message hasn’t been passed on from the contact centre, or that the depot didn’t pick up the email because someone was off. I’ve heard them all.”

Translink said: “We want to deliver an attractive service for all our customers and we would like to apologise to this passenger that wheelchair provision was not in place when she arrived for her journey. We have investigated this incident and will work hard to put measures in place to ensure that customer needs are met.”