I WOULD like to share my experience of using the Translink G1 Glider from Glengoland West Belfast to Wellington Place City Centre. I believe that not only myself but others on this morning service will also be making complaints.

I arrived at the bus stop to get the glider at 8.20am (March 21). The glider that arrived a few minutes later was full, with the doors opening and people literally falling out the door. There was no room for me to enter. I decided to wait for the next Glider as I had already bought my ticket. I waited 30 minutes, but at 8.50 the next Glider was cancelled.

At this stage there was a large build-up of people waiting with me. Another 20 minutes later, at 9.10am, a Glider arrived and again the doors opened with the bus at full capacity. When the doors opened there was physically no room to step on to the bus.

With no choice as we all had to get to work, we physically pushed our way on to the bus as people shouted 'There’s no room!' When we got to the next stop it was the same scenario, ten to fifteen office workers trying to push on the Glider but ultimately no luck with pushing inside, so they had to return to the bus stop. It was like something you’d see at rush hour on the London Metro, not the suburbs of Belfast.

I have never experienced a worse public transportation service in my life. I have lived in major cities with the population four times the size of Belfast and I struggle to wrap my head around the fact that Translink can’t operate a functional service for a distance of five miles.

The worst part about this was when I realised If I didn’t get on this overcrowded Glider, I had no other transportation option to get to Belfast city centre.

Since the number of black taxis has been dwindling, the Glider has become our only means of transport. This is not good enough. It's 2024, Belfast is years behind every other major city regarding public transport, which at best is overpriced, unreliable and not fit for purpose.

Why can’t Translink operate a school-only glider during key school opening hours to allow city centre workers to get to their jobs?

I left my home this morning at 8am and I didn’t get to my desk at work until 10am. It would have been quicker travelling to Dublin. The public transport system is beyond poor. It’s totally unacceptable infrastructure and the people of Belfast, specifically West Belfast, deserve better.

I am sending this because I can’t be the only person with this point of view. People can’t get to work, the service is unreliable, and we are being let down by the transportation service in Belfast. Something needs to be done.

Fiona McCullough