Friday, February 27, 2015

The 'Lost Buses Campaign' grows

There was a big attendance at the Lost Buses Protest and Campaign meeting yesterday in Athy Library, writes Sean Cleary.

Kavanaghs have reduced their bus service to Dublin Airport and Bus Eireann were about to do the same but following a meeting that attracted nearly 200 last week, attended by the Minister for Transport, the National Transport Authority CEO and Bus Eireann, it was agreed to postpone this until the end of June.

The Kavanagh services on the N9 have been reduced to three in the morning, all before 7am and from Dublin one at midnight, one at 4.30am. and one at 6.30 in the morning and a 5.15 evening bus. Bus Eireann has not served Castledermot, Moone, Timolin, Ballitore and the N9 to Kilcullen, Naas and onwards, for years.

The object of the N9 committee is to restore a State Subsidised Service that should be provided by Bus Eireann. The Athy, Castlecomer and N9/Castledermot Committees have now joined with other Bus Action committees right down to Kilkenny.

There will be a major meeting next Thursday at the Assembly Hall in Athy Community College organised by the Joint Committees and it is essential that there be an overflow attendance. The National Transport Authority will be in attendance again. All public representatives are expected to attend.

This must be a show of the strength of public opinion about the straw that has broken the Irish rural camels' backs. They have taken Garda Stations, and Post Offices, reduced the Eligibility Ceiling for Medical Cards for married and cohabiting couples by €5,000, piled on Water and Property Taxes, but they said they would not touch the Free Travel Pass. They didn't, but, as one speaker proclaimed — 'They took the buses instead!'.

It will be a peaceful meeting. No demonstration please, that's the best way of losing now. Come to Athy College on Thursday at 8 o'clock, you may not use buses today, but students, workers, hospital visitors and patients need them, and we are all getting older and the day may soon come when it might be better to take the bus.

If there is one!