At a meeting in Malone Heights between Translink management and local residents last week organised by Independent Councillor Cadogan Enright, pensioners explained to Translink why they needed access to the Town Bus network.
Spokesperson Cormac Wylie said “We have many elderly or incapacitated people in Malone, most of whom have bus passes. Malone has the steepest, longest, uphill walk in Downpatrick that is hard even for fit people to go up. Access to the Town Bus means we can access the bus station, ASDA, the Cinema, hospital and doctors surgeries from our front doors.
Councillor Enright said, “In response to Translink concerns about ‘Health and Safety’ and their worry about there being no turning circle in Malone, residents noted that bin lorries, oil tankers and delivery trucks all manage to turn without danger and that the pavements and roads are quite generous in Malone. There are at least 2 safe locations for the Town Bus to turn. This is not a full size bus, so we feel that Translink worries about ‘health and safety’ are overblown.”
Resident Anne Monkhouse provided a petition from the Malone Way end of the area, and other roads are being canvassed at this time with a petition and a survey to see how many other residents would be interested in accessing the service.
Translink undertook to see if they could identify a safe area to turn on the estate, and to check if including Malone could be included in the current services without disruption to the timetable.
Councillor Enright advised any residents who have not seen the survey form to contact Anne Monkhouse or Cormac Wylie as Translink also have to justify the service in terms of number of potential customers.