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With the Newry to Dublin/ Dublin Airport routes proving increasingly popular local  Newry City Councillor Gary Stokes and Newry and Armagh MLA Justin McNulty  have met with senior representatives of Translink to discuss ongoing concerns about the X1 Service.

Discussing the Dublin Airport route were from left:  Justin McNulty MLA, Councillor Gary Stokes, Michelle Rafferty (Rural Transport Development Manager, Translink) and Arthur Hamilton (Southern Area Manager, Translink)
Discussing the Dublin Airport route were from left: Justin McNulty MLA, Councillor Gary Stokes, Michelle Rafferty (Rural Transport Development Manager, Translink) and Arthur Hamilton (Southern Area Manager, Translink)

Councillor Stokes explained, ‘The bus service between Newry and Dublin is a vital service and it is extremely popular, so much so that by the time the bus arrives in Newry it is often full.  In recent months there have been numerous occasions both day and night where the bus didn’t show up, again because it was full and had no room for passengers.  This is not good enough and, especially if your standing in Newry and know you have a flight to catch in Dublin.’

‘Today’s meeting was both positive and constructive.  We reiterated the concerns people had raised with us regarding the X1 Service.  People have been left deeply frustrated, they have turned up in plenty of time for the bus and then the bus does not turn up, or if it does its full and cannot accommodate them.’

‘As a result of our lobbying, Translink have now confirmed they are seeking a more centralised booking service for all X1 Services and it is hoped this will be operational within six months.  In addition to this they have also confirmed they are seeking to build a business case for a dedicated service between Newry and Dublin.  I have undertaken to seek the support from Newry Mourne and Down District Council or this business case.’

SDLP Assembly Member Justin McNulty MLA added, ‘Public transport services between Newry and Dublin are an important service, both by bus and by train.  We need both bus and rail services to be integrated and that’s why we have been lobbying so hard for improved services in both forms.’

‘The existing service is very well used and is at the right frequency, however the problem at this point in time is about continuity and reliability of the service.  Whilst is it’s great to see the service so well used, that’s not much help if your standing in the cold in Newry and either the bus doesn’t show or it arrives full and cannot take any more passengers.’

‘We are delighted with the progress made today and will continue to work with Translink to ensure that dedicated bus service between Newry and Dublin becomes a reality.  We have also sought improvements in the queuing systems for passengers waiting at Dublin Airport and we hope progress can be made on this issue also.  All in all, it was a positive meeting with much progress made.’

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