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Politicians express fears for future of local bus routes

January 27th, 2017 11:50 AM

By Southern Star Team

Intercity routes have reached capacity during peak hours.

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TRANSPORT Minister Shane Ross has moved to reassure local politicians that there are no plans to downgrade a local bus route.

Concerns had been raised in the Dáil in December by Deputy Aindrias Moynihan over the future of the No 40 route, which travels from Cork to Tralee.

Deputy Moynihan sought assurances for passengers in Ballyvourney and Ballymakeera that no downgrading of the route would take place.

In response, Minister Ross said this week that ‘at present’ there were no plans to downgrade the route but that services are kept ‘under regular review’.

Deputy Moynihan said that while he welcomed the current commitment, he noted the reference to keeping the route ‘under review’.

‘This leaves room for future cuts or changes to Route 40, and something which I will vigorously oppose as a local TD,’ he said. ‘We must be vigilant to any proposed reduction in service,’ he concluded. 

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada also warned of the consequences if Bus Éireann was to lose any routes under any  cost-cutting measures. 

Liadh Ní Riada said she had also written to Transport Minister Shane Ross, and acting chief executive of Bus Éireann, Ray Hernan, to express her concern at earlier reports that Bus Éireann may discontinue some services. 

‘Hundreds of thousands of individuals across Ireland depend on these services to get to school, college or work, to access health services, or to stay connected,’ she pointed out to them. The network of intercity and regional services is especially important to people living in rural Ireland and in our small towns, she said.

‘I have called on the Minister and on Bus Éireann management to confirm that services such as the N40 Route between Rosslare and Killarney (servicing Youghal, Midleton, Macroom, Baile Mhic Íre, Baile Bhuirne and Glenflesk) will not be discontinued,’ she told The Southern Star.

‘This bus service is vital for people living in towns throughout Cork and their surrounding areas,’ she said. 

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