Northern Ireland news

Measures in place to protect Glider transport service in west Belfast following attacks by youths

A special set of measures has been put in place in a west Belfast neighbourhood in a bid to prevent further attacks on the Glider transport services. Picture by Hugh Russell
Marie Louise McConville

A SPECIAL set of measures were put in place in a west Belfast neighbourhood last night in a bid to prevent further attacks on the Glider transport services.

Services in and around the Colin neighbourhood were withdrawn for a time on Monday night following two attacks on vehicles by youths throwing missiles.

During one of the incidents, a teenage girl narrowly escaped injury when the window of the Glider she was a passenger on, was smashed.

Following a meeting yesterday, Translink said services were "running normally".

"We condemn attacks on our services in the strongest possible terms, thankfully this is not a common occurrence," a spokeswoman said.

"We can confirm that services are running normally today.

“Following on from a very productive meeting this morning with Translink, Unite, elected representatives, PSNI, youth providers and Colin Safer Neighbourhood teams, a set of measures have been agreed to safeguard services to the community this evening and for the rest of the week.”

Michael Dornan, chairman of the Metro and Gliders drivers Unite union branch, called on parents to know where their children are following this week's attacks.

"The biggest problem is the attraction of fare evasion at night and that brings them on and when they are put off unfortunately, they turn to stoning vehicles," he said.

Mr Dornan said measures in place will include Custom Revenue Protection Officers (CRPOs) being on board vehicles travelling in the area and patrols in the area by members of the Safer neighbour group.

He said Translink would also be mobile in the area with a Unite union representative.

"The main message I would like to get out today is to the parents of kids," he said.

"Please know where your children are and know what they are doing. This is an attack on their own community. If this persists, we will have no choice, for the safety of drivers and passengers, to withdraw those services and nobody wants that."

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