Bus operator takes case to High Court


A private bus operator is taking legal action against the State, challenging a decision by the Department of transport to award a licence to Dublin Bus to operate services on a similar route to its own.

Swords Express runs regular services between Swords and the city centre using the Port Tunnel seven days a week. It contends that Dublin Bus's licence to operate on the route did not go through the proper procedures.

The company has accused Dublin Bus of deviating from its authorised routes to compete with the Swords Express service. Documents obtained by RTÉ show that the State-owned bus company was running unauthorised services on the route, before it was eventually given permission from the department.

Speaking to irishtimes.comthis morning, the owner of Swords Express, Antóin O Lachtnain, said the company would have to consider curtailing its services if it was not given a chance to compete fairly.

"Our case is that they weren't given permission in the proper way, it didn't go through the proper procedures in the Department of Transport," said Mr O Lachtnain.

"At the same time, we want to provide service to other areas in Swords, like Holywell and Applewood and River Valley, which are outlying and we can't get a licence to do it. There's an inordinate delay in granting us the licence."

However, a spokeswoman for Dublin Bus said today it was satisfied that all services in Swords were operating in line with Department of Transport and their service authorisations.

The case was mentioned this morning in the High Court, and has been given a date in September.