Rathcoole bus hijacking: Newtownabbey Metro services suspended

A number of Translink services in Newtownabbey and north Belfast will be suspended from 6.30pm this evening (Monday) following yesterday’s hijacking in Rathcoole.

A spokesperson for the transport provider said: “Translink’s top priority is the safety of all passengers and employees.

“Following the recent civil unrest that has seen two drivers suffer hijackings and buses burned and destroyed, Translink has met with its Trade Union colleagues to review Metro bus services in Belfast and Ulsterbus services in some areas across Northern Ireland.”

Ian Campbell, Director of Service Operations explained: “We utterly condemn this incident. The safety of our passengers and employees is paramount and our highest concern. Our staff want to provide essential public transport to keep society connected. But this attack on our people and services is simply unacceptable.

A bus was destroyed after it was hijacked and set on fire in Newtownabbey. Photo by Kelvin Boyes // Press Eye

“As such, from today (Monday, November 8), from 6.30pm some evening bus services will be suspended while other routes will be adjusted as follows: Metro corridors 1,2,4,11,12 will be suspended and Metro corridors 3, 5-10, will operate as normal with some diversions.

“The majority of Ulsterbus services will operate as scheduled with some localised adjustments. Glider services will operate as normal with some diversions to the east. Rail services will operate as normal.

“We are very mindful of everyone’s safety and understand the level of concern expressed by our staff and their families. We will work closely with the PSNI, the local community, our unions and all stakeholders as we monitor this difficult situation. Our plans will always put safety first as we work towards reinstating essential public transport for those who rely on us.

“This situation is very changeable, and we would encourage people to frequently visit www.translink.co.uk or follow us on Twitter or call the contact centre on 028 90 66 66 30 to get the latest service information before they travel.

“We would like to thank everyone for their patience, understanding and continued support as we strive to deliver bus services throughout Northern Ireland.”

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