A BANTRY-based bus company has been awarded the contract to provide a Local Link service connecting Glengarriff with Kenmare and Killarney.
Mick Cremin of Cremin Coaches – who recently signed the contract with Local Link Kerry – said he is keen to promote the service because ‘not everyone in the community knows it exists.’
For just €5 per person – or zero cost for people who have a bus pass – passengers can travel from Glengarriff to Killarney on the second Saturday of every month, or take the weekly service – every Wednesday morning – from Glengarriff to Kenmare.
Because the service tends to attract older members of the community, and those who do not own a car, it is very effective in combatting rural isolation, according to Mr Cremin.
He said the short journey on the 16-seater bus is a practical way of allowing people to connect with others, get out of the house, and catch up on some weekly shopping.
‘The beauty of a service like this is that it stops at various locations along the way and we can, within reason, collect people from their homes, so it is very convenient.’
Although the contract was signed in September, Mr Cremin said there is a need to highlight this service particularly in the dark winter months, because not enough people know about it and because it is such a useful facility to have.
Bantry-based Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) agreed, saying: ‘It is a fantastic service that operates 52 weeks of the year and we are also fortunate to have the West Cork Local Link that brings people into Bantry town too.’
Cllr Collins said: ‘It gets people out of their homes and, in this instance, travel along one of the most scenic drives in Ireland, over the Caha Pass.’
Commenting on the fact that the 10km route from Glengarriff village to the Turner’s Rock Tunnel on the Kenmare road is due to be closed for one month before Paddy’s Day, Mr Cremin said: ‘We are still not sure if it will disrupt the service, but hopefully not.
‘We might have to take an alternative route, or, if we can, we might be permitted to get through on the days of service, but one way or another we’ll get through.’
For bookings call: Local Link Kerry on 066 7147002. The return journey from Kenmare is 1.15pm every Wednesday; and the return journey from Killarney is 2.30pm on the second Saturday of every month.
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