South Dublin County Councillor Éamonn Walsh has accused Dublin Bus of deliberately running down the Nitelink service.
“The Nitelink, which has been operating for nearly 20 years, may not be a revenue spinner for Bus Átha Cliath but it has been an important resource for those seeking to enjoy a night out at reasonable expense rather than having to spend 4-5 times that amount on a taxi fare home,” said Councillor Walsh, who represents Tallaght Central.
“This prohibitive expense will discourage people from socialising in the city thereby creating a ’no go’ area once again when we are supposed to be trying to revitalise the city by attracting people into it this being the year of ‘the Gathering.’”
Walsh says that a serious public order issue has arisen with what he calls the ‘daft’ times of the three buses at 12am, 2am and 4am.
Walsh commented: “You’re either rushing your drink to get the midnight bus, leaving the night club before it ends to catch the 2am bus, or trying to kill time before the 4am bus arrives. This is not a public service and the undoubted inevitable drop in numbers as potential passengers who no longer want to hang around town will lead to Bus Átha Cliath’s abandonment of the service, ultimately.
“The brainless move of the stop from Townsend Street where there was little or no trouble for years, to D’Olier Street where it is chaotic beside a number of nightclubs and pubs, has been a disastrous move and will deter people coming into town because of the massive public order problems it is causing.”
Councillor Walsh says “having used the service over the years, the recent terminus change has led me to witness, sometimes, three fights in a night, awaiting the bus. This combined with the long interval of two hours between each bus has, unfortunately, led me to believe that it is currently unsafe to travel the Nitelink.
“In a recession, people cannot afford the luxury of spending €20-€40 on taxi fares and if Ministers Varadkar and Shatter want ‘the Gathering’ to succeed and want to stop Dubliners having to run the gauntlet of aggressive drunks getting in their way on their way home, then they should order Bus Átha Cliath to restore the hourly service, move the terminus back to where it belongs or make way for other operators to run the Nitelink.”