O’Rourke calls for emergency contingency plan for Meath bus services as the last weeks have shown how unreliable the service in Meath is at the moment.
On the 70th anniversary of Bus Eireann this week, we at Meath Live, have been contacted by public representatives demanding urgent action for the services which is causing mayhem for workers, students and people travelling to Dublin for medical appointments.
Sinn Féin TD for Meath East, Darren O’Rourke, has called on Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to instruct the National Transport Authority and Bus Éireann to prepare an emergency contingency plan to address the bus service crisis in Meath.
Deputy O’Rourke made the call today during Dáil statements on road safety. He also called on Bus Éireann to meet with the public and local public representatives in Meath to explain themselves.
Speaking afterwards, Deputy O’Rourke said;
“Bus services in Co. Meath are in absolute chaos. Every day we have multiple cancellations on multiple routes and at short notice. Literally thousands of commuters are being let down.
“On the busy 103 route servicing Ashbourne and Ratoath, for example, 20% of services were cancelled on Monday, more than 10% on Tuesday and 15% on Wednesday of this week. It’s a similar picture on the busy NX route from Navan. It is an absolute disgrace.
“To add insult to injury, Bus Éireann have provided absolutely no contingency and their communications are pathetic.
“This is absolutely scandalous, and at a time when we are trying to encourage people to use public transport.
“Bus Éireann and the National Transport Authority (NTA), the commissioning body, must be held to account. At my request, they were invited to attend before an upcoming meeting of the Oireachtas Transport Committee to explain themselves.
“This issue cannot wait until then, though, to be addressed. Today in the Dáil I called on the Minister for Transport to intervene to instruct the NTA and Bus Éireann to introduce an emergency contingency plan to address this crisis. Can private capacity be used, for example? Can resources be deployed from elsewhere? Are there changes that can be made to rostering, overtime, licensing that could deliver more capacity, for example? It is not good enough that we don’t have answers.
“I further called on Bus Éireann to meet with the local commuters affected by these cancellations and their public representatives to explain themselves and to answer questions. This is a crisis and it needs a crisis response.”