Changes to Route 8, Dublin to Cork Expressway Service by Bus Eireann is costing more and makes the journey longer according to Brian Stanley TD.
The TD said that bypassing Abbeyleix, Durrow and Johnstown saves no time at all for drivers, as the journey still takes over 35 minutes on the motorway – the same time as the old timetable.
“Bus Eireann’s claims do not stand up to scrutiny. Under the old timetable the Dublin – Cork journey took 4 hrs 25 mins. By their own figures the journey from Bus Áras to the airport is 30 minutes extra which gives a journey time of 4 hours and 55 minutes,” he said.
Deputy Stanley also claimed that the new timetables are “pure fiction” which can be out by 40 minutes and require the provision of additional drivers in Cork which is actually increasing the cost involved. The bus has to stop and pay tolls and the motorway is 5 km longer.
“Drivers are only permitted to drive for 4hrs 30 minutes continuously without a break. On the Dublin Airport to Cork route a driver takes the bus from Broadstone depot which adds 20 minutes to his days driving.
“I’m informed that his four and a half hours are up when he reaches Fermoy and a driver has to come out from Cork city to bring the bus the rest of the journey. This relief driver, who is often working on overtime, has to drive it back again after lunch for the original driver to take over once more for the return journey. So much for cost savings,” he said.
He said another problem is that drivers and passengers previously had a 15 minute comfort stop in Josephine’s in Urlingford for a tea/toilet break but that has now been removed which gives drivers no break at all on the Dublin-Cork route.
“To make matters worse the replacement service by a private provider between Portlaoise and Johnstown is not guaranteed additional funding for holders of free travel passes which would be a major blow to elderly people in those areas.”
The TD said the “situation is farcical” said Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar, should intervene, to reverse the bypass Abbeyleix, Durrow and Johnstown.