An urgent overhaul of Kinsale service needed

November 9th, 2022 11:45 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Cllrs have said the new bus stop for Kinsale in Cork city is not suitable, and uncovered.

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THE Kinsale to Cork bus service needs a complete overhaul following complaints of passengers being left at the side of the road, while an unsheltered bus stop in Cork city is leaving passengers soaked on a daily basis, a meeting heard.

Cllr Marie O’Sullivan (FG) suspended standing orders at the Bandon Kinsale Municipal meeting and said the situation has become a disaster for passengers using the 226 Route from Kinsale to Cork.

‘There is no bus shelter in Cork city for the passengers after it was moved from the bus station,’ said Cllr O’Sullivan.

‘We have students who are going to colleges in Cork city being left behind with no explanation and this is happening at a time when we want to encourage people to use public transport. Many are commuting also, due to the accommodation crisis – it’s not good enough.’ Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) said it was completely unacceptable to move the bus stop from Parnell Place to an unsheltered bus stop on Clontarf Street.

‘We need a double decker bus for this route to cope with the demand and we’re being told that people need to pre-book tickets, which is daft. We have people getting soaked at the bus stop,’ said Cllr Murphy.

Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind) said the treatment of people who want to use the Bus Éireann service from Kinsale is just ‘not acceptable’ and that the NTA needs to be contacted directly.

‘Having a terminus in the city like we have for the Kinsale route is not acceptable either, and ticketing being introduced without informing people is crazy. It’s extremely frustrating for the people who use the service,’ said Cllr Coleman, who also called for extra buses and a half-hourly service.

‘It needs the resolve of the NTA to fund a proper service from Kinsale to Cork, and it needs to have a proper terminus.’

Cllr Sean O’Donovan (FF) pointed out that elderly customers aren’t online-savvy and wouldn’t be able to buy tickets in advance. ‘Bus Éireann is doing what they want and it’s the same as the school transport system,’ said Cllr O’Donovan. Councillors agreed that they will write to both the NTA and Minister Simon Harris on the issue to ensure people are getting a proper service.

Meanwhile, the Green Party representative for Bandon Kinsale Marc Ó Riain has told The Southern Star that some students attending St John’s College have complained that they cannot get the bus back from college as it is always full by the time it gets to Anglesea St or Evergreen Rd. Kinsale local Declan Greenway, who uses the bus service regularly, said the removal of the dedicated service to the airport has led to overcrowding and full buses until it arrives at the airport.

Marc pointed out that there are no express services from Kinsale to UCC, MTU or the CUH going into the city and noted that West Cork Connects, which runs a private bus service, has announced plans to run such a service.

Damien Long of West Cork Connects said he has the licence, the drivers and buses to start the service from Kinsale to Cork, but is facing a stumbling block.

‘This would serve Ballinhassig, which is currently without a service, and it would bring students directly to colleges and others to CUH. But Cork County Council seem to be refusing to either paint a bus stop on the road, or place a bus stop pole in Ballinhassig, which would be an insurance issue for us,’ said Damien.

Marc added: ‘We absolutely need a direct express service on an alternative route to bring people to Belgooly, Riverstick, Ballinhassig, MTU, CUH, UCC and onto the city. Bus Éireann needs to reinstate the 226A airport service to alleviate pressure on the 226.’ He said he intends to follow this up directly with Minister Eamonn Ryan and Cork County Council.

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