COUNCILLORS have called for bus shelters to be put in place where there is a bus stop.
The matter was raised by North Cork-based Cllr Liam Madden (FG) at a recent meeting of the local authority who said there should be no bus stop without a shelter and pointed out that in Spain bus shelters are everywhere.
‘You’re talking of routes along country roads where people are expected to wait for a bus. We want people to use public transport, but we’re not putting everything in place,’ said Cllr Madden.
‘We need to get the Minister for Transport to provide funding for bus shelters and also outline to us the programme for the coming year ahead and what shelters are to be installed and where.’
Cllr Jack White (FG) said it makes sense to have a shelter where there is a bus stop, and said they have real issues with this in the Carrigaline Municipal District and that it’s all about making public transport attractive to commuters.
‘Bus Éireann tell us that it’s the responsibility of the National Transport Authority (NTA) but it’s hard to explain this to constituents who ask us about them,’ said Cllr White.
‘There are certain blockages on the ground that the NTA are holding up and the Minister for Transport needs to hear about this.’
Cllr Marie O’Sullivan (FG) said that all councillors have experienced these issues and she highlighted the bus stop for the Kinsale to Cork service which has no bus shelter.
‘The shelter was moved from the Bus Station on Parnell Place to Clontarf Street and there is no shelter. People are standing there in inclement weather and it’s very dangerous, too, as there are no pedestrian crossings adjacent to the bus stop and there are a lot of elderly people using the bus,’ said Cllr O’Sullivan.
‘You have lots of tourists using the service, as it’s taking them to Cork Airport, and from that point of view it’s not really a great ‘slán abhaile’ arriving at Cork Airport soaking wet. People could leave with a bad taste in their mouths.’
She added that the NTA needed to engage with councillors before making any decisions regarding bus stops.
County mayor Danny Collins said there is no bus shelter in Bantry despite a base already installed for it about six months ago.
‘It hasn’t arrived yet and maybe that’s to do with the €24,000 cost of it,’ said Cllr Collins.
Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) supported the motion but queried the cost of installing them and said that advertising on the shelters could offset the costs.
However, Cllr Frank O’Flynn (FF) said he doesn’t want a ‘blanket policy’ of bus shelters for all bus stops and that consultation would be needed with local businesses and residents, while his colleague Cllr Seamus McGrath said it might be wise to put bus shelters in ‘where practical.’