Two Laois TD’s are demanding that Bus Eireann leave the Portlaoise stop on the Dublin to Cork bus route.
Sinn Féin TD, Brian Stanley, claims he has been informed that Bus Eireann plans to remove Portlaoise and Urlingford from the Dublin/Cork Expressway route and is calling on them to come clean on their plans for the route.
“I’ve been informed by a reliable source that Bus Eireann plans to remove the existing stops in Portlaoise and Urlingford at the end of August in order to save time on the Cork / Dublin Airport route.”
Last year, Bus Eireann removed stops along the Cork Rote in Abbeyleix, Durrow and Johnstown last year, for the same reason.
But Deputy Stanely said their timetable, even with the removal of these stops was never achievable.
“If Portlaoise and Urlingford are dropped, this would mean the further erosion of public transport services for rural areas and the isolation of many people. Rural Ireland has suffered enough over recent years and this decision by a public transport provider is not acceptable and needs to be reversed.
The Sinn Fein TD said he had contacted Bus Eireann and the National Transport Authority requesting a full statement on plans for the Cork/Dublin route and demanded that Portlaoise and Urlingford remain on this route.
Fine Gael’s Charlie Flanagan said he was very concerned that Bus Eireann were considering removing the Portlaoise stop from the X8 route to Cork.
“This is the only bus service to and from Cork for people in County Laois. We had a situation last summer where a number of stops were removed and an interim measure put in place.”
Deputy Flanagan continued: “I have asked the National Transport Authority to outline the measures they intend to take to alleviate the hardships that public transport users in Laois have experienced in the last year from Bus Eireann.”
Deputy Flanagan acknowledged that there was regular trains to the Rebel County, but said the cost can be probhibitive for people.
“There are regular trains to Cork from Portlaoise and Portarlington, however the cost of such a journey can be prohibitive for many people and they may also prefer to use the bus.”
Deputy Flanagan said he urged the National Transport Authority and Bus Eireann to clarify what exactly their plans are for the route in the immediate future”.