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Public Encouraged to #GetOnBoardNI to #ShopNI and #SocialiseNI during Bus & Train Week

Pictured at the launch of the #GetOnBoardNI to #ShopNI and #SocialiseNI Initiative during Bus and Train Week are (l-r) Glyn Roberts, Chief Executive, NIIRTA; Chris Conway, CEO, Translink; Alderman Brian Kingston, Lord Mayor of Belfast; Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive, Belfast City Council and Andrew Irvine, Belfast City Centre Manager.

Pictured at the launch of the #GetOnBoardNI to #ShopNI and #SocialiseNI Initiative during Bus and Train Week are (l-r) Glyn Roberts, Chief Executive, NIIRTA; Chris Conway, CEO, Translink; Alderman Brian Kingston, Lord Mayor of Belfast; Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive, Belfast City Council and Andrew Irvine, Belfast City Centre Manager.

Pictured at the launch of the #GetOnBoardNI to #ShopNI and #SocialiseNI Initiative during Bus and Train Week are (l-r)
Glyn Roberts, Chief Executive, NIIRTA; Chris Conway, CEO, Translink; Alderman Brian Kingston, Lord Mayor of Belfast; Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive, Belfast City Council and Andrew Irvine, Belfast City Centre Manager.

The economic value of public transport to the retail and hospitality sectors in Northern Ireland is one of the themes being promoted during Northern Ireland’s first Bus & Train Week 6-12th June. As part of the initiative Translink and its partners including, Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA), Belfast City Council and Belfast City Centre Management are encouraging people to use public transport during the week and especially on Friday 10th June and Saturday 11th June to facilitate shopping and socialising with their friends, colleagues and family.

Under the theme of #GetOnBoardNI to #ShopNI and #SocialiseNI, the initiative will see a range of special promotional fares encouraging people to use public transport matched by a range of promotions, competitions and incentives from various retailers, cafes, restaurants, bars and entertainment outlets across the city and Northern Ireland. It is hoped that the message will encourage more retail and hospitality footfall across our towns and cities and at the same time show more people the convenience and value of public transport in supporting their retail and socialising habits.

Speaking about the scheme, Glyn Roberts, Chief Executive, NIIRTA said:

“Local bus and train services make it easy for people to access town and city centres to support local retailers. They play a key role in helping to build vibrant, sustainable and successful towns and cities and we hope that our members and the public literally get on-board with this initiative to make it a success. There are already a number of great value ticket promotions and a range of additional incentives which should make the use of public transport all the more enjoyable and ensure our members see the added benefit of additional footfall.”

Chris Conway, CEO, Translink highlighted the strong evidence around the economic impact of public transport on the retail and hospitality sectors:

“There is no doubting the valuable contribution public transport makes to the success of our high streets and across the hospitality sector.   Independent research carried out in Belfast by PwC for example has shown that Metro customers are already helping to boost retail sales in the city centre, with over 50% of shoppers using Metro services spending over £35 per visit. Over 80% of those people who use Metro to commute to work also regularly shop in the city centre. In addition, UK ‘Greener Journeys’ Research found that the bus emerges as a key mode of access to towns and city centres. The bus has the largest market share of retail and leisure trips to city centres at 33% (versus 30% for car, and 22% for walking and cycling). Recent research carried out by Translink also highlighted that despite a desire to do more after work socialising there was still a noticeable decline in its prevalence. Interestingly, the tie of the car and transport concerns was one of the main reasons cited for that decline and we would encourage people to consider public transport as a way to remove this obstacle.”

Welcoming the initiative, Andrew Irvine, City Centre Manager, Belfast City Centre Management added:

“We know that public transport plays a key role in the global appeal of an area, as cities and regions that are easy to move around are more attractive to local shoppers and visitors. This in turn helps to support the visitor and tourism sector as an economic driver for Northern Ireland in terms of generating wealth, jobs, civic pride and innovation. We also know the importance of a vibrant evening economy here and public transport also underpins that objective, by both delivering customers and helping them arrive home safely. We would encourage businesses in the city centre to get on board with this initiative and to think of creative ways they can benefit from enticing more people to consider public transport during this week and beyond.”

Details of the various partner offers and incentives during the week and on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th June can be found on https://www.translink.co.uk/busandtrainweek/offers/ which will be updated regularly.

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