Fine Gael councillor says Bus Éireann services ‘absolutely critical’

Warning that axing of Expressway services would hit the economy of rural Ireland

Irish Rural Link’s Louise Lennon said it was unclear which bus routes were most threatened, and said final decisions must take into account the social implications and not just the economic ones

Irish Rural Link’s Louise Lennon said it was unclear which bus routes were most threatened, and said final decisions must take into account the social implications and not just the economic ones

 

The axing of Bus Éireann’s Expressway services would hit the economy of rural Ireland, according to an Offaly publican and county councillor who runs a successful glamping site.

Fine Gael councillor John Clendennen, who runs Giltraps Townhouse and Glamping in Kinnitty near Birr, Co Offaly, said Bus Éireann services were “absolutely critical”.

He said many of his guests arrived by bus. “People think this is not a critical service, but over the last number of years to see the number of people that come by train to Tullamore and bus to Birr is staggering.”

A return taxi from Tullamore costs around €70. “When you are a small business trying to encourage people to visit the area you want to offer them as affordable a package as you can.”

He said local economic plans were useless if the Government “are going to let our transport infrastructure be downgraded”.

“Don’t pull the rug from under rural Ireland at this stage when there is green shoots emerging.”

Savage blow

In Edenderry, Co Offaly, Independent Alliance councillor Noel Cribbin said cuts would be a savage blow.

“Edenderry has a brilliant, brilliant bus service. It is not just Edenderry, there are stops all along the route. I know families that their kids are in college, and it’s the only way that their kids can go to college because they can’t afford accommodation.”

He said parents from surrounding districts dropped students into Edenderry to catch the bus for Dublin in the morning.

Irish Rural Link’s Louise Lennon said it was unclear which routes were most threatened, and said final decisions must take into account the social implications and not just the economic ones.