25th June 2009

 

West Council calls for bus route retention

 

The Council for the West has called on Bus Eireann to show a more flexible approach in its axing of 99 routes

 

throughout the country as part of a massive cost-cutting measure. Bus Eireann agreed to commence a range of

 

services between Ireland West Airport Knock and towns in the region as far back as June 2005.  In March 2007

 

these services had been approved by the then Minister of State for Transport, and were due to commence in

 

April 2007, but over two years later there is no evidence of any of these services starting.

 

Chairman Sean Hannick said that while he appreciated Bus Eireann's need to rationalise, he wondered if the

 

company could not have utilised minibuses on some routes.

 

He said the shuttle bus service between Ireland West Airport Knock and Charlestown was a case in point

 

"Instead of using larger buses on routes which do not have near capacity numbers, surely the company would be

 

better advised to substitute minibuses and thereby save substantially on operating costs. The Ireland West

 

Airport to Charlestown route, which is a key component of a linked transport system, surely falls into that

 

category," he said.

 

Mr. Hannick also said that given the pressure under which the tourism market is currently struggling, with inward

 

passenger numbers down substantially, every effort should be made by the government to ensure support for

 

the industry and for the region.

Ends.

 

Note to Editors:

The Council for the West is a voluntary, independent, non-political body which monitors and reports on the socio-economic state of the West and acts as a lobby group promoting the development of the West. The Council for the West was set up by the Western Bishops and has successfully campaigned for retention of Objective 1 Status for the region.  It continues to campaign for balanced regional development and highlights issues of major concern for the region.

Contact Points:

Public Relations Officer:   Terry Reilly 086 8109518 / 096 21603 / email: terryreilly@eircom.net

Co-ordinator:                       Caroline Wilson, Tel: 096 32975 / email: cftwest@iol.ie

Spokesperson:     Sean Hannick: 087 2564824