Bus Eireann ‘hammer out solution’ on Laois cuts

Hopes have emerged that Bus Eireann’s decision to end their stops at Abbeyleix, Durrow and Johnstown could be reversed.

Hopes have emerged that Bus Eireann’s decision to end their stops at Abbeyleix, Durrow and Johnstown could be reversed.

Chief Executive Martin Nolan is meeting with the National Transport Authority today (Wednesday) to “hammer out a solution”, according to Michael G Phelan, head of a committee formed to fight the decision.

“He rang me today (Wednesday, June 27), and told me he realised it was a huge issue in the area. He said we had good organisation going, as he had been contacted all morning by ministers and deputies, and the NTA. He said he would try and hammer out a solution first with the NTA today, and arrange to meet us up from there,” he said.

The last bus is still scheduled to stop in Durrow this Friday evening, on the way to Cork. Bus Eireann recently got approval from the NTA to change their Route 8 service to run non-stop Cork to Dublin, taking the motorway through South Laois, but the decision was met with a huge backlash from angry locals.

Yesterday officials from the NTA met with the committee, councillors and TDs Brian Stanley and Sean Fleming.

“It was a long debate, a bit heated at times, but they agreed they did sign the licence without any consulation with local people. It was a private meeting but a lot of people turned up anyway to have their say, waiting outside the Castle Arms for two hours. The NTA’s eyes are fairly well opened,” said Mr Phelan, who is now seeking a three month extension of the service while a solution is found.