Increasing financial pressures put future of Translink in doubt

Translink’s cash reserves are set to fall below minimum levels before the end of March, it has emerged, sparking fears over the future of Northern Ireland’s public transport provider.

In response to a written Assembly question from Alliance MLA Andrew Muir, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said the impact of the Covid pandemic and other pressures have hit Translink’s finances.

She said she has engaged with other ministers over the company’s “future financial stability” and Translink’s cash reserves are currently at a level allowing it to meet daily financial obligations because DfI has put in place measures to keep reserves above a “minimum independently-assessed threshold”.

“However, these reserves are projected to reach the minimum threshold by the end of this financial year not least due to the impact of current lockdown restrictions,” she added.

Mr Muir said action needs to be taken to ensure Translink’s very survival.

The public transport provider’s consolidated losses for the 2019/20 financial year – before tax, pension adjustments and other costs – was £23.2m. That compares to £1.1m profit for the previous year, according to it’s latest accounts.

Back in April 2020, Translink chief executive Chris Conway told Stormont’s Infrastructure Committee it needed a £100m injection of funds to continue providing a public transport network following a 90% drop in passenger numbers.

Concern: Nichola Mallon
Concern: Nichola Mallon



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