Wexford Fianna Fáil TD John Browne has said that any attempt to axe public bus routes in communities across the South East must be resisted.
Deputy Browne has expressed his outrage at Bus Éireann’s decision to drastically reduce services linking a number of communities to Dublin. It was revealed this week that the bus operator plans to axe nearly 100 rural bus routes.
Deputy Browne commented, “It is completely unacceptable that any community would be left without access to our towns and cities. Under this plan, route 5 linking Wexford, Waterford and Wicklow to Dublin will be slashed. It means that Bunclody, Clonroche and Kildavin will be left without any public bus service to Dublin. In addition to this, daily bus services from New Ross and Enniscorthy will be cut from 5 to 2.
“Essentially these communities are being cut off from the capital. Many people depend on these bus services to get to work, to hospital appointments, to see their families and to access vital services that have been lost locally. Any reduction or loss of these services will have a huge impact locally.
“These threatened cuts are just the latest in what has become a slash and burn of local services in many communities across this region. After years of investment in tackling the rural/urban divide, cutting rural communities off from access to our cities would be a major step backwards.
“This has to be about more than just budgets. Bus Éireann is funded by the taxpayer and it has a public responsibility to serve communities here in the South East as well as the rest of the country. Again it seems like this region will suffer a disproportionate level cuts across the country. I am calling on the Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe to immediately engage with Bus Éireann before any of these services are cut.”