Northern Ireland

Translink: No buses or trains on Friday because of strike

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Media captionTranslink's Ciaran Rogan apologised to passengers who will be affected, as Julian O'Neill reports

There will be no scheduled bus or train services in Northern Ireland on Friday due to strike action, Translink says.

Bus and train drivers from the Unite and GMB unions are joining the strike action by public sector workers. The action is being taken over budget cuts and job losses.

Police said they would not be enforcing bus lanes during the strike action.

It said this would not apply "where buses use the hard shoulder on the motorways".

Police said they were making the decision in response to "the exceptional circumstances and the additional traffic that may be on the roads as a result of the proposed public transport strike".

Translink said it was contacting education boards to find out if schools are open on Friday and to discuss options for transport.

"I would like to apologise to all our passengers who will be inconvenienced by this strike action which is unfortunately beyond our control," Ciaran Rogan of Translink said.

"I think it is important to give people as much notice as possible in order that they may make alternative arrangements for travel on that day."

Services will return to normal on Saturday.

Between them, Unite and the GMB are estimated to have about 70% of public transport workers as members.

In a statement, the Department of Education said it was aware there may be an impact on some schools on Friday and that school transport may also be affected.

"Parents should liaise with schools regarding attendance on Friday and consider making alternative arrangements to get children to school where possible," it said.

The department's most recent figures, state that more than 50,000 pupils use Translink to travel to and from school.

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