Rural Community Network Director Pat Ward has called for a rethink of the decision not to have the town bus stop outside the door of the new Down Hospital.
Councillor Cadogan Enright supported Pat and said , “Dropping people off on the main road makes no sense, especially where wheelchairs have to be pushed up the long ramp to the hospital. It costs at least £3 to get a taxi from the Bus Station up to the hospital doors if you are unwell or well chair bound. There is actually the stump of a bus stop outside the hospital where people had thought the actual bus stop was going to be.”
Downpatrick Cllr Cadogan Enright said, “This is not a great service, first of all it is only an hourly service and second of all it doesn’t cover half the town. Areas not covered include the Saul Road, Marian Park, Meadowlands, Mount Crescent and Quoile Park. I would agree with Pat that we have missed a great opportunity in providing a good bus service to the new hospital.”
Pat Ward said, “I have discussed this matter with Translink Management in Newcastle and have been told that Translink costed a 15 minutes service for the Hospital two years ago but as no offer of finance was forthcoming from the Department of Health they were forced to implement this service via the Town bus in what I consider to be an unsatisfactory manner. Translink are reluctant to let the town service go up to the door of the hospital for fear it would cause delay to the town service.”
“I have raised this issue with the community based Downe Community Health Committee who have promised me that they will be making representations on this issue as it is vital that we integrate our key transport and health infrastructure to ensure long term sustainability of the new hospital,” concluded Green Party Westminster Candidate Cllr Cadogan Enright.