Private firm seeks permission for new Derry to Belfast bus service

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A private coach company from Armagh has sought permission to run a new daily express bus service from Derry to Belfast.

Hannon Coach of Craigavon has applied to the Department of Infrastructure (DI) for a permit to run the new service.

Philip Crummy, from DfI’s service permit division has written to Derry City and Strabane District Council seeking its views on the proposed new route.

He explained: “The Department is currently considering an application from Hannon Coach to operate a new Express Service from Belfast to Derry/Londonderry.”

Hannon plans to run 19 services to and from Belfast each day from Monday to Friday, with ten services in each direction on Saturday, and nine on Sunday. That’s seventy-six services a week between the two cities.

In a report due to be presented to Derry City and Strabane District Council this afternoon, the local authority’s Director of Environment and Regeneration, Karen Phillips, states that the service would improve transport connectivity.

“This proposed bus service would increase bus links between the city,” she reports.

Ms. Phillips’ report also refers to Translink’s recent pledge to increase its service between Derry and Belfast.

She states: “Any new service would compete with this existing service. DFI have requested a response in relation to this issue by June 2, 2017, so there is not sufficient time to bring a report to Environment and Regeneration Committee for consideration.”