Safety issues block bus route extension

editorial image

Translink has said it would not be safe to extend a bus route into the Rossnagalliagh area of Derry due to safety concerns, it has emerged. SDLP Councillor Brian Tierney expressed concern at Translink’s decision, but said the company was right to look into safety first.

Colr. Tierney had lobbied the transport provider on the issue in recent months following engagement with local residents.

He said the service was one many residents have been calling for as there is no service close by.

“Numerous residents had contacted me about the lack of bus provision in Rossnagalliagh, and extending the current FY15 service into the area was suggested as a solution to this problem,” he said. “Having liaised with Translink on behalf of the residents, I was confident that a service would be introduced to provide public transport into Rossnagalliagh. A risk assessment was conducted and the outcome was that the proposed route could not safely accommodate buses. Various factors were cited as safety concerns including parking congestion along the route and the narrowness of the road network.”

Mr Tierney said the residents were rightly disappointed by this decision but Translink was correct to thoroughly investigate all safety concerns before deciding if a route was suitable. “I will continue to engage with residents to identify ways of introducing public transport into the Rossnagalliagh area,” he added.

A spokeswoman for Translin said: “We carried out extensive risk assessments in the area and concluded that the local infrastructure is not suitable for a bus service to operate. Safety is always our top priority and our risk assessments clearly identified hazards that would prevent safe access and passage for a large vehicle such as a bus.”