Northern Ireland news

Use of public transport in Northern Ireland fell by 90 per cent at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic

Use of public transport in Northern Ireland fell by 90 per cent at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Picture by Hugh Russell
Marie Louise McConville

USE of public transport in Northern Ireland fell by around 90 per cent at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, Translink, which operates the north's public transport system, said it had seen a "steady growth through the summer" and was now at around 40 per cent of its normal usage.

The transport company said specialist cleaning had been stepped up since the virus struck in February.

Addressing the public, Chris Conway, Chief Executive, said: "We're ready for you when you're ready for us.

"We have a whole range of measures in place including PPE (personal protective equipment), and sanitisation products which keep our surfaces clean on trains, buses and train stations for up to seven days," he said.

"We feel if everyone takes the right approach, and wears a face covering, sanitises their hands, listens to all the signage and guidance that we have, that public transport is still safe to use."

Mr Conway said public usage of the network "fell to about 10 per cent of normal usage" at one stage.

"We've seen steady growth through the summer and we're now at about 40 per cent of what our normal usage would be," he said.

"We have about 80 per cent of our network in place so we still have significant capacity there and opportunities for people to use public transport".

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