Friday, May 29, 2015

Bus services agreed, but 'use them or lose them'

Three new bus services each way a day are to be provided between Naas and Carlow, writes Brian Byrne. They should be up and running by August.

This follows several months of negotiation by local groups along the route with the Minister for Transport Pascal Donohue and the National Transport Authority.

But there's a stark warning from the NTA that if the services are not adequately used, they'll be stopped at the end of the year.

According to Deputy Martin Heydon, the Minister has agreed to fund the service, which will serve Kilcullen, Kilgowan, Crookstown, Ballitore, Moone, Timolin and Castledermot with a specific stop at Naas Hospital, three times a day each way. "The routes are going out to tender which local operators are welcome to apply for, with a start date of 6-8 weeks' time being envisaged."

The negotiations were initiated following a number of public meetings, after the decision at Christmas by JJ Kavanagh to keep the majority of the company's Dublin to Waterford coaches on the M9 instead of passing along the old N9 route from Kilcullen to Castledermot.

Deputy Heydon also confirmed that — following a meeting with Social Protection Minister Joan Burton — the free travel pass will be accepted on this route.

The timetable of the services will be coordinated to link up with follow-on national services in both Naas and Carlow as well as being particularly useful for those attending Carlow IT and Naas Hospital.