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Translink denies Fermanagh ‘dumping ground’ for old buses

FERMANAGH has been described as a ‘dumping ground for old Translink buses’ as it has been claimed an 18 year old bus has recently been operating in the county.
Pupils from Trillick, Derrylin and Pettigo have been travelling into Enniskillen on double decker buses, and concerns have been raised about the standard of the vehicles.
Recently, readers have brought to the Herald’s attention that there appears to be an increase in the number of double decker buses operating on school runs. One source claimed that a bus operating in Fermanagh had been redeployed from elsewhere despite being 18 years old.
Secretary of Fermanagh Council of Trades Unions, Donal O’Cofaigh questioned the need for double decker buses in the county and claimed ‘we are given all the old bus stock.’
“Buses go to Fermanagh for their final years before they get scrapped – it would be good to find out the average age of buses here by comparison to the NI-wide fleet. Meanwhile the staff tell me that Belfast, Derry and even Omagh are all getting new vehicles.”
“There’s no reason we should be treated like this by Translink. It’s time that Fermanagh got equal treatment. We also seem to be getting more double-deckers and it’s hard to understand why, since with declining birth rates, fewer children are going to school from rural areas so we don’t need them.
“You would have to question whether the introduction of double-deckers is part of a wider agenda of cutting back on the number of bus drivers through rationalising routes.  If so, this would be a false economy as it would mean parts of our county losing the services they have today.”
A Translink spokesperson denied an increase in the number of double decker buses in Enniskillen depot.
“Translink allocate buses to routes depending on passenger numbers, service type and route conditions. There has been no increase in the number of double decker buses in Enniskillen depot from the beginning of the school year in September.
“We regularly review passenger numbers on our school services to ensure the correct bus types are available to facilitate customer numbers.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA