Friday, October 30, 2015

Bus service cuts report 'not true'

Reports that the Naas to Carlow bus service will discontinue weekend services are not correct, writes Brian Byrne.

The reports suggested that the National Transport Authority was dropping the service from the end of November, but local TD Martin Heydon says no such decision has been made.

"An initial usage report was issued showing usage numbers of the route to date which showed low usage at weekends," he says. "Arising from this it was proposed to curtail some of the weekend services. This was only a proposal and no formal decisions have yet been made."

The Kildare South deputy has been critical all along of the level of promotion of this route by the NTA and wrote to them in September to ask what funding was being put aside for promotion but got no response. "I spoke with Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA, yesterday on this issue again," he told the Diary this morning. "I made it clear in the strongest possible terms that a proper promotion of the route must be carried out by the state body before any decisions are taken on its success."

The initial clear commitment was that this route had a six-month trail to see how it was operating. "It is only operating three months so far but it must be better advertised to give it every chance of success and to maintain important connectivity for local towns and villages."

UPDATE: "Ms Graham has confirmed today that the route will continue in operation as planned and that the national authority will work with Kildare Local Link to promote the service further. I will be liaising with both bodies to ensure this happens."