End of Bus Eireann's Laois service this week slammed by Sinn Féin TD

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

End of Bus Eireann's Laois service this week slammed by Sinn Féin TD

End of Bus Eireann's Laois service this week slammed by Sinn Féin TD

This Friday January 29 is the last day of Bus Éireann's Dublin to Limerick and Cork service which served Laois.

Many customers including third level students will not feel the loss of the X12 Expressway until college and normal life after Covid restrictions end.

The decision by the national transport company to end its cross country service, to concentrate on cities, was announced last September with the final date announced only last week. The decision was a financial one.

“Expressway’s X12 service between Dublin and Limerick has incurred unsustainable losses due to the impact of Covid-19”, said Eleanor Farrell, Chief Commercial Officer, Bus Éireann.

Laois Offaly Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley is blaming the cut on "previous Fianna Fáil Government policy".

“What has happened this week is a direct result of previous Fianna Fail Government policy. When these routes were deregulated, Sinn Fein and  others pointed out at the time that Bus Eireann would not be able to compete with private operators whose workers would not have the same pay and terms and conditions as Bus Eireann staff and drivers. Gradually over the last decade or more Bus Eireann service has been gradually undercut by this race to the bottom, just as we predicted.

“The Bus Eireann management also has questions to answer in that they deliberately pulled these services out of towns and villages such as Durrow, Abbeyleix, Borris in Ossory, Castletown, Mountrath and Ballybrittas in Laois over the past decade and thereby reduced passenger numbers.

“The axing of these routes flies in the face of what is supposed to be Government policy, to make improvements to public transport. Its worth noting that this Government has a Green Minister for Transport. Also of note is the fact that during the major Covid lockdown in March to June BS alone provided continuity of service on these routes.

“The Minister for Transport and the National Transport Association (NTA) now need to re-examine these routes with a view to reinstating this service and a proper campaign to promote the routes," Dep Stanley said.

Laois Offaly Minister of State, Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming labels Bus Eireann's move "an absolute disgrace".