On a sunny Saturday over 70 young people from across the country came together to discuss transport. Many of these young people had travelled long distances to get there because they felt passionately about this issue in their area. A look at the #transportNI timeline will show the strength of feeling over the issue of Translink and access to transport
The event was run by the NI Youth Forum and the British Youth Council. All 108 MLAs were invited along by the Forum to engage with these future voters on this important subject. Not a single elected member turned up!
By the next election this group shall almost all be of voting age, yet our politicians declined to give up an hour of their day to answer some vital questions.
A panel discussion was planned with several MLAs alongside a representative of “Sustrans” and the Consumer Council. When it came time for the session a Translink representative volunteered to take queries, filling in the empty chairs on the stage.
Where were our MLA?
Young people are a vital customer base for Translink. They use buses to get to school, work and social activities. With the government owned company expected to make a colossal loss next year this is an issue of great importance to Stormont. Yet, we saw none of the “Folks on the Hill.”
Do young people not deserve an hour of our politicians time to discuss transport?
Eddie Cochrane, in his song Summertime Blues coined the phrase “I’d like to help you son, but you’re to young to vote.”
Is this yet another case of politicians ignoring young people who are engaged in the political process?