First hints of September timetable changes

Translink have announced the following key facts about the September timetable change:

  1. Service frequencies will be reduced on some routes – they “have been able to protect the geographic coverage of the network albeit with some reduced frequency on some services,” which doesn’t entirely rule out service amalgamations.
  2. Headcount will be reduced via natural wastage, avoiding compulsory redundancies for front line staff, ie drivers, conductors and station staff – “While there will be a reduction to the overall workforce, this is being addressed through a recruitment freeze, redeployment and natural attrition.”
  3. A joint working group with Unite (the largest single union in Translink, although some depots have more GMB staff) and perhaps also DRD will examine the long term impact of a reduced budget for the company.
  4. £3 million in long term savings have been identified in management and efficiencies (ie they won’t all happen in one year!)

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, service cuts and fare rises are no reason to celebrate in a situation where diversion of car users to buses and trains is essential for the sake of those who can’t go about their business without private transport, but I’ll try and keep abreast of the impact on affected services.