Dear Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company,

I would like to make the following request under the Freedom of Information Act:

The newer model of double-decker buses all appear to have seat belts for added safety; how much did it cost to have these belts installed?

Why have the older model of double-decker buses not been fitted with seat belts?

Yours faithfully,

Lisa Tate

FOI, Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company

Dear Ms. Tate,

Thank you for your request for information, received via our Freedom of Information Inbox on 11 March 2012. This will be dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and a fuller response will issue in due course.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Co-ordinator
For and on behalf of Translink

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FOI, Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company

Dear Ms. Tate,


Further to my earlier brief acknowledgement, I am now in a position to
respond more fully to your request under the Freedom of Information Act


In dealing with your query about the cost of seat belts, it is difficult
to ascertain an exact cost for them in isolation, however, it cost in the
region of £2,500 - £3,500 per bus to have this included as an option in
the procurement specification.   Not all of the double-deck vehicles
purchased in 2008 had seat belts; 25 purchased for Metro did not have seat
belts fitted.  The vehicles were built to comply with Motor Vehicles
(Construction and Use) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999, and The Public
Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations 2000, neither of which require
seat belts in buses.


Future double-deck vehicles purchased for Ulsterbus will be supplied with
seat belts fitted at the build stage,  as is the case for Ulsterbus
single-deck vehicles.  Both single-deck and double-deck vehicles purchased
solely for urban use in Metro will not be constructed with seat belts
fitted, in common with every other urban bus operator.


As far as retro-fitment of seat belts is concerned, whilst not impossible
it nevertheless presents certain challenges.  The individual seats, as
well as the floor structure of each deck, have to be reinforced.  For a
double-deck vehicle, this may adversely affect the weight distribution,
thus altering the vehicle's performance in a 'tilt test' and having a
negative safety impact.  The cost of such an initiative would also have to
be taken into consideration.


It should be noted that in 2008, UK bus manufacturers were not producing
double-deck vehicles with seat belts for any of the main bus operators. 
Translink's order was therefore unique.


I trust the foregoing deals with the various queries which you raised.  If
you are not satisfied with this reply you may complain to the Translink
Commercial & Services Director, who has overall responsibility for Freedom
of Information and Data Protection issues within the Northern Ireland
Transport Holding Company/Translink organisation.  Correspondence should
be addressed to: Translink, Chamber of Commerce House, 22 Great Victoria
Street, Belfast BT2 7LX.


If we are then unable to resolve any complaint that you may have, you may
refer the matter to the Information Commissioner who will make an
independent judgement.  The address of the Information Commissioner is:
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AT.  The address of
the Information Commissioner’s Office for Northern Ireland is: 51 Adelaide
Street, Belfast, BT2 8FE.


Yours sincerely,




Freedom of Information Co-Ordinator

For and on behalf of Translink


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