“While I had given approval on a range of average fare increases..”

Interesting detail from the latest BBC report on the Translink bus and rail fares increases announced last week – On 4th May NI Railways fares were to increase by an average of 3%, while Ulsterbus and Goldline fares by 2%, and Enterprise cross-border rail tickets were to cost 10% more, coach journeys by 13%. The increases were deferred when the Consumer Council complained about a lack of consultation. Today, Department of Regional Development deputy secretary Doreen Brown told the NI Assembly Regional Development Committee that “the committee did not receive prior notification of previous price changes and argued, as did Translink representatives, that the usual procedures had been followed.” Meanwhile, the NI Regional Development Minister, Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy, took time out from talking about Executive papers still to be discussed, and met with the Consumer Council.

Mr Murphy described the meeting as “positive and constructive”. “We reassured the Consumer Council about what we expected their role in this process to be – quite clearly there was a breakdown in that,” he said. “While I had given approval on a range of average fare increases, the Consumer Council felt they hadn’t been involved in the detail of that to the extent they would have liked.”

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  • Pigeon Toes

    Does no-one think it odd that under the 1993 Roads Order (Northern Ireland), DRD are supposed to publish proposed changes to ferry fares?

    ” (3) Where it proposes to issue directions under paragraph (1) in relation to a road ferry service, the Department shall—
    (a) publish in at least one newspaper circulating in the locality in which the road ferry service is provided a notice—
    (i) stating the effect of the proposed directions; and
    (ii) stating that, within such period as may be specified (not being a period of less than 30 days from the date of the publication of the notice) any person may by notice to the Department inform it of the grounds upon which he objects to the issuing of the directions;
    (b) consider any objections received by it before the expiration of the period referred to in sub-paragraph a”

    Yet the same rationale does not apply to Translink operations?

    Methinks DRD officials are bullshitting to the committee.
    Very oddly, DRD did not publish a press release in this regard relating to recent fare increases on the Rathlin route.

    This would also be the same legislation cited by Spud when he was wriggling out of fundig the Magilligan Ferry (wonder if that will change)

  • Pigeon Toes

    Might This Be the reason why various MLA’S feel that DRD don’t bring very much to their attention.

    Paul Priestly welcomed Roisin Kelly, Clerk to the Regional Development Committee to the meeting. Roisin had been invited to discuss working relations between the Committee and the Department and help to identify any areas for improvement. Roisin said she felt a very positive relationship existed between the Committee and the Department. To illustrate this she said she had justmet officials from a number of business areas to agree, in a very pragmatic way, what business would come to the Committee up to the summer recess. She emphasised that the Committee wanted to assist the Minister in progressing his responsibilities…In the ensuing discussion, Roisin confirmed that she was content with the co-operation she received from officials …. Paul thanked Roisin for her helpful comments”

  • PT

    “Ports and Public Transport Division and Public Transport Performance Division are responsible for the discharge of statutory and other duties in respect of public transport in Northern Ireland. Between them, these Divisions sponsor the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company,and provide financial and administrative support to help ensure the delivery of transport policy in Northern Ireland. This extends to the planning, delivery and governance of public transport in Northern Ireland.” DRD ‘year long technical difficulties’ website [I’m tempted to add an ‘h’]

    It would appear that DRD – the Department for Reindeer Development – doesn’t have a common approach for its subsidised undertakings; there’s no Santa ‘clause’ for Translink fare increases as there is for ferry operations – even when it doesn’t apply them.

  • citybus

    Aparrently the cash fares are going up, but the smartlink tickets will stay the same price. It’s a good incentive to get the smart card, maybe now Translink can get off their arses and fix the card’s flaws. tickets only last 3 months, thats funny as the London Oyster ones last years. And how come they only work on one zone. If you wanted cheap travel to everywhere you would have to buy 3 cards. And if you go on 3 journeys a day pass is cheaper, so a paper ticket undercuts the card whereas the Oyster always makes sure you pay less.