How not to do it

A lesson on how badly improvements in transport infrastructure can be handled.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Is it to give money to the UDA? TO move away from violence and criminality? Sorry for going off thread but I think you need to start a new thread on this story being reported by BBC NI at present?

  • Crataegus

    I have seen this sort of thing happen before, quite often the initial cost estimates are low because it is the only way of getting money approved because sanctimonious prats won’t believe what their professional advisers are telling them. So it gets cut back, and back and when it is eventually approved many many years later shock horror it can’t be done.

    It could also be just incompetent administration. Was it not tendered and itemised?

    The building industry has contractors whose activity in any other line of business would be regarded as fraud. Some happily claim for work not done, produce bogus day works sheets, claim extras and pocket savings. It is all regarded as fair game.

    You would really need to know the detail.

  • mnob

    Nothing can surprise me about a single integrated transport provider that cant provide tickets that work on more than one mode of transport (where even country buses and city buses are counted as seperate modes), because their systems wont let them and then invite you to feed back to them how politely they told you to f*ck off.

  • What’s the point in ‘feeding back’ anyway- they don’t even bother replying. I e-mailed them twice regarding something, and they failed to reply either time (contravening their own reponse policy).

    And will anything be done about the debacle mentioned at the top of this thread? Of course not. They literally can do anything and not suffer any consequences- has any action ever been taken following any of the ridulous failures we regularly hear about in relation to Translink? No. Do the senior managers still command massive salaries? Yes. Do we have an adequate public transport system? Absolutely not.

    And so it goes on…

  • nmc

    It’s ridiculous. I used to rely on public transport from Ballymena to either Belfast or Derry regularly.

    The number of complaints I have are too many. I couldn’t be arsed winding myself up re-living the shit treatment I have recieved from Translink. How I laughed when they asked me to sign a petition years ago to preserve the train service.

    I would say that one of the main problems is that the Bus and Train services are run by the same company, and they are run in a way to suit no-one other than Translink. The whole service is a total disgrace.

  • Crataegus

    I agree with the criticism of Translink. I used to use the train to Dublin regularly but just got fed up with the service. Apart from anything else the trains did not leave early enough to get to Dublin for early meetings and the number of late trains was serious. Just unreliable and I prefer to travel by train as I can prepare for meeting on route.

    The Larne line, the Derry line, the Crumlin line unused, no connection to the airports, crap bus service etc etc etc.

    Break the company up. Two bus companies and a separate train service and allow the bus services to compete with each other in city and rural areas. Either that or replace the management.

  • another_pleb

    Their in-house newsletter, Rail Issues, is full of stories of little old ladies who lost their handbags and how the nice young man from NIR found it for them. Instead, they should try tackling the proverbial elephant in the corner.

    The rail timetable is the 1st thing they should tackle. It is probably fine for Belfast suburban services but a bit of a mahogany gas-pipe if you need to get somewhere besides Lisburn.

  • mnob

    Actually I have found the staff on the ground to be always helpful and even cheery.

    But no the suburban services aren’t good either.

    I live beside a train station (Greenisland) and work beside one (Central) and I save 1 hour every day by taking the car.

    I travel to Dublin a fair bit but the connecting times for the Enterprise just dont work so I either drive to Central, or all the way.

  • wild turkey

    ‘Either that or replace the management. ‘

    Dead on Crataegus.

    Perhaps the crack translink management team and board could find gainful employment in the ongoing saga of re-construction and infrastructure re-build in Iraq.

    Do these people have shit for brains or what?

  • GavBelfast

    nmc – “I would say that one of the main problems is that the Bus and Train services are run by the same company, and they are run in a way to suit no-one other than Translink. The whole service is a total disgrace.”

    I agree wih you 100% – it is absolutely ludicrous that the entire bus and rail ‘network’ is run by the same people, and the organisation itself largely by bus people with no experience for or empathy with the railways. The Goldline services aren’t bad, and Metro is certainly regular enough, but the rest of its a bit of shambles. But does anyone give a monkeys or do anything about it? ….

  • Commentator

    Given the contents of this report why havent the Department sacked most of the management team here including the Board. This is scary stuff and reflects very badly on the standards of NIR management – millions signed away with no record, designers who didnt deliver but who were paid, thousands paid to retain the services of the man who destroyed all the records and then left anyway.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Working where I do in the private sector, if I don’t deliver what it says in my contract by the time specified, then I either get penalized, or I don’t get paid. End of.

    So why did these people get paid when they failed ? Why are public sector contracts so lax ?

  • penfold

    A fully integrated transport system would be more easily achieved if Metro, Ulsterbus and NIR services were all run by the same company.

    The problem with the transport system is down to Northern Ireland’s dependence on the car (more than 80% of all journeys) and Roads Service’s myopic policy of constantly building more roads to accomodate the cars. As long as road building continues it will be very hard for Translink to get people out of their cars and onto buses and trains.

    Bus priority measures need to be put in at the expense of car space like in Dublin where whole lanes have been given over to provide bus lanes. From there passenger numbers will increase which will in turn drive an improved service.

  • Lesh

    The competition of the Dublin Airport bus service and the Transporter to Derry shows that there is money to be made in NI with transport.

    But the services provided by Translink are ridiculous – 3rd World.

    The Europa bus centre is a real joke on Fridays –

    Maybe it is the fact that the service is not run-for-profit but heavily subsidised with no real accountability attributable to the management.

    The Entreprise not being able to get into Dublin for 9am is another joke too!

  • stathead

    Anyone got any thoughts on amalgamating NI Railways with Irish Rail? Bit daft having two rail companies on an island of six million ?