Northern Ireland news

Lagmore bus service cancelled following nightly attacks on vehicles

A Translink car was attacked during nightly trouble in the Lagmore area which has seen youths target buses
Marie Louise McConville

A west Belfast bus service was halted last night following a fifth night of stone attacks.

As of 6pm last night, there was no Translink service available in the Lagmore and Mount Eagles areas.

The move came just hours after Unite the Union said it was concerned for the safety of drivers.

Davy Thompson, Unite's Regional Coordinating Officer, said that during an attack on Tuesday night in the Lagmore area a group of youths "made attempts to board the Metro bus service".

"When this did not succeed, they proceeded to stone the bus. The same actions occurred to a Translink car which was monitoring the service," he said.

Sinn Féin councillor Daniel Baker said following the attacks, the bus service in the area had been cancelled as of 5pm last night.

"This is due to the sustained attacks over the past five evenings," he said.

"Last night, the situation escalated to the point that the inspectors car was attacked".

Mr Baker, who has met with Translink and the PSNI about the situation, said police had removed CCTV footage "to examine along with descriptions of those behind the attacks".

The cancellation of the bus service was met with concern by many residents who took to Facebook to cite their fears about how they would get to work and their children to school without a bus service.

One person posted that the move wasn't "fair on the people of the area that use the service on a regular basis" while another added: "The parents should be held accountable why should a community suffer because a parent has no control over their children".

A PSNI spokeswoman said police had received reports of buses being stoned in the area, with at least one window broken.

She appealed to those involved to "stop this senseless and dangerous criminal behaviour".

A Translink spokesperson said services would resume this morning.

“This is not a decision that we have taken lightly, as we realise that removing services impacts our customers, but this is in the interests of safety of our staff and passengers.

“Stone throwing at buses has huge safety implications, both for those on board and for other road users, including drivers and pedestrians - and cannot be tolerated."

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