Laois poeple will be badly hit by the withdrawal bus services by Bus Éireann according to a TD for the county.
Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley says that the announcement by Bus Eireann of a withdrawal of some Expressway services in Laois from 12th March is a further erosion of vital services in rural areas.
“Bus Eireann confirmed the withdrawal of 24 services per week from the Limerick to Dublin via Portlaoise service out of a total of 130 on this route. This cut in services will affect many towns and villages in Laois which will suffer as a result. The service is also being withdrawn from Route X7 which serves Ballylinan, Newtown and Crettyard.
He said the "chaos and difficulties are as a result of bad Government policy". He said the National Transport Authority has issued too many licences to private operators who have saturated the more profitable routes. He claimed the Government and Bus Éireann is not telling the public is that €41 million profits made by the Expressway service was taken to fund other transport services.
He said Bus Éireann has been subjected to unfair competition due to the number of licences dished out to private operators. He hit out at Fine Gael's "free market model" and Transport Minister Shane Ross.
"Minister Ross needs to get off the fence and help to sort out the industrial relations problems in the Company and ensure rural transport services are protected and enhanced," he said.