Deputy Peadar Tóibín has slammed the Minister for Transport, National Transport Authority and Bus Eireann for the ongoing chaos experienced by commuters using the NX Bus Eireann from Navan to Dublin.
The Meath West TD told Meath Live, “ I submitted a Parliamentary Question in the last number of weeks to the Minister for Transport asking that the National Transport Authority increase the number of buses on the NX route to address the crisis faced by commuters. Buses are arriving full in Johnstown, Navan. Regularly people are being left behind. On one occasion 50 people were left behind. This means that for most of the bus stops remaining on that journey to Dublin the buses will not be able to pick passengers up.
“In a response just received from the National Transport Authority they say are aware of capacity issues on many bus routes across the country at the moment, with passenger numbers on many routes now exceeding pre-COVID levels. They say this is particularly affecting routes in the Dublin Commuter area. They have informed me they have asked Bus Éireann to compile details of the worst affected routes from a capacity viewpoint, and to advise the NTA on the potential to address capacity issues. They go on to say the NTA will review any proposals for increases in services to cater for excess demand, but it should be noted this will be dependent on bus fleet and driver availability, as well as the availability of additional funding for Public Service Obligation (PSO) services”.
There is a clear pattern here by the government. They announce wonderful new policies such as a reduction in public transport fares and free school bus places but they do not do the necessary work to make sure there is the necessary capacity”.
“ This is a completely unacceptable situation that the NTA is only instructing Bus Eireann now to gather information on worst affected areas for transport bottlenecks. Unfortunately I cannot say I am in any way surprised as it’s an attitude I find right across many state agencies where there is no analysis, no research and no forward planning for capacity of services to meet increased demand in areas of population growth”.
“Rather than proactively chasing this type of information to keep on top growing demand we have a laid back reactive response from the NTA once we reach beyond a crisis point and passengers are left stranded day in day out. I have been highlighting for years, as many people in Meath are aware, the evidence of the critical need for a train service from Navan to Dublin, but unfortunately our public transport agencies have yet to catch up”.