Councillor Cadogan Enright welcomed the announcement that Translink has acceded to the Green Party’s campaign to have a bus-stop outside the new Hospital entrance for the Downpatrick Town Bus service to use from 4th October next.
Cadogan said “This is a step in the right direction. It is not the promised shuttle-service that we expected when the new 64 M Down Hospital opened its doors last year, but the town bus will pull up outside the hospital entrance eight times a day between 8am and six pm. I will continue to campaign for the shuttle bus. I think the Ardglass bus service should be able to pull up at the hospital as well, rather than just passing along the main road.”
Dick Shannon of the Down Community Health Community said “I welcome Translink’s change of heart on the Town Bus and complement Cadogan on his campaign. But we still need a shuttle bus as it is vital that we integrate our key transport and health infrastructure if the new hospital is to service the region as a whole and to ensure the long term sustainability of the new hospital.”
“If the new hospital is to service other parts of Northern Ireland as planned, we need to get the a shuttle service in place so that anyone arriving in Downpatrick Bus Station could be sure that they can easily use public transport to access the hospital. I discussed this matter with Translink Management in Newcastle and was told that Translink costed a 15 minutes shuttle bus service for the Hospital two years ago but as no offer of finance was forthcoming from the Department of Health they decided to service the hospital via the Town Bus. But not up the hospital entrance. Translink was reluctant to let the town service go up to the door of the hospital for fear it would cause delay to the town service. “ Said Cadogan Enright
“I got cross-party support for this at a recent council meeting and council management were tasked with re-negotiating with Translink and the Trust. I have heard today that the town bus is now planned to go to the hospital entrance, from the 4th of October. But the town bus is not an ideal service for the hospital, as it would provide no more than 8 buses a day to the door of the hospital, and no service after 6pm. We are continuing to campaign with the Trust to facilitate Translink in having a 15-minute shuttle service similar to that in the Royal in Belfast”. Concluded Councillor Cadogan Enright.
To see more on the Green Party campaign to save the Downe click here.
Press Cuttings – Councillor claims success in hospital bus stop campaign, Downe Bus is Welcomed.