Police are appealing for information after a Glider staff member was assaulted close to the Hunting Lodge on the Stewartstown Road on Thursday evening.

A passenger on the Glider spat at the member of staff before punching him in the face at approximately 5:20pm. The passenger, accompanied by a woman, were being ejected from the bus at the time of the incident.

Police have confirmed the member of staff “suffered facial injuries including a suspected broken nose.”

A PSNI spokesperson said: "The suspect is described as aged in his late 20s – early 30s, with short blonde hair and wearing a grey tracksuit with the hood up. 

"Enquiries are continuing and anyone with any information or footage that could assist with the investigation is urged to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 1611 of 10/08/23."

SDLP Councillor Paul Doherty has condemned the attack.

“This is an abhorrent attack on a Translink staff member while just trying to do their job. Nobody should be subjected to something like this while working and I’m sure it was a very upsetting experience that will stay with the staff member for some time” Councillor Doherty said.

“Many people in West Belfast rely on the Glider and other public transport to get them where they need to be, to work, school, to socialise or for appointments. Given the importance of these services for people in this community it’s deeply disappointing that we continue to see anti-social behaviour taking place and this latest attack on staff. 

“I would appeal to anyone using public transport to treat staff with the respect that they deserve. Continued incidents like this risk vital services being withdrawn from this area and that’s the last thing the local community wants to see. Anyone who witnessed this attack should come forward to police, we need to see a zero-tolerance approach for attacks of this nature.”