THE roads network in some parts of West Cork is so bad that bus operators from other parts of the country have asked a local bus operator how he manages to run his buses on them.
Damien Long of West Cork Connects – which run daily bus services between this region and Cork city – said he’s not surprised with their reactions as he drives those roads regularly. ‘When bus operators come down from other parts of the country to see how we run the service, their first comment is always about the state of the roads and how I manage to run my fleet of buses on them,’ Damien told The Southern Star.
‘While new routes have been announced for Connecting Ireland they should also look at fixing the roads after that.’
Damien said the condition of the N71 from Bandon through Innishannon and onto Skibbereen and Schull is ‘atrocious’ and very hard on his vehicles.
‘This is all about rural Ireland being forgotten about again. You wouldn’t find road surfaces like that in cities and the cost of running my vehicles is more expensive. The upkeep of my buses is certainly a lot more than it would be for operators up the country because the roads are so bad.’
Damien said more funding is badly needed for the N71, which he says is the worst road leading into Cork city compared to other approach routes.
‘If nothing is done it means it will cost so much money to run vehicles on these roads, and commuters will also be hit with higher prices as a result. The government is urging people to avail of public transport but they then put up the price of diesel in the Budget.’