Northern Ireland news

Translink boss Chris Conway says Glider service a success

Chris Conway, the company's chief executive said the new 'bendy bus' was fulfilling its aim of attracting people to public transport
Andrea McKernon

The £90 million Glider bus service is a success, but it is too soon to provide exact figures on usage, according to the head of Translink.

Chris Conway, the company's chief executive, said the new 'bendy bus' was fulfilling its aim of attracting people to public transport.

The Glider buses became fully operational in Belfast a week ago.

Furious commuters inundated Translink with complaints after the failure of some prepaid tickets and delays of up to 40 minutes.

In west Belfast, parents on the Falls Road were stopping in the outside lane to let their children out at St Kevin’s Primary School, with pupils darting across the empty bus lane.

But Mr Conway told BBC Radio Ulster's Inside Business programme the service was performing "extremely well" after its first week.

"If you look at the capacity we normally had on the routes versus what we are are putting on with Glider, it tells us more people are using it."

He said it was an "unfortunate coincidence" that the launch coincided with problems with Translink's mLink mobile ticket app for buses and trains.

He said the service's supplier had been unable to cope with a surge in demand in Britain caused by people returning to work and school after the summer holidays.

The Glider buses link east and west Belfast and Titanic Quarter with the city centre.

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