Flying in the face of draft proposals which could mean cuts to bus services in Mid Ulster’s three main towns, MLA Sandra Overend is callin g on other parties to support the UUP’s case for protecting funding for public transport.
Speaking as private secretary for the Minister for Regional Development, Mrs Overend told the Mail: “The Ulster Unionist Party did not vote for the draft budget – DUP and Sinn Fein did.
“Potential cuts to local bus services will depend on the final budget settlement, and Minister Danny Kennedy and the UUP are battling hard for public transport funding.
“It is important that other parties are made aware of the need to get behind public transport, and support us when we make the case for protecting it.
“The services under threat in Mid Ulster, namely the Cookstown, Magherafelt and Dungannon services, are often services which operate at a loss.
“It is no surprise then, that the response to a reduction in funding is met with the removal of a loss-making service, despite them being greatly needed.
“Public transport is a vital, affordable method of transport for many who cannot afford an alternative.
“The removal of that service would have a significant impact on the local community.”