The axing of the direct Bus Eireann services between Carrick-on-Suir and Dublin will go ahead this month but it’s proposed that a shuttle bus will connect bus travellers from the town with the Clonmel/Dublin bus services stopping in Grangemockler.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has written to Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District Council proposing this “pilot” bus service from Carrick to Grangemockler,which will connect with the amended Bus Eireann Route 7 service and JJ Kavanagh private bus service to Dublin that stop in the village. The shuttle bus will also do return journeys to Carrick.
NTA Chief Executive Anne Graham said a direct connection between Carrick-on-Suir and Dublin was not feasible at this time but recommended this pilot bus service to Grangemockler and back to Carrick as the most effective option. She enclosed a timetable for the shuttle bus and its connections with the Dublin bus services.
According to the timetable, the shuttle bus will travel from Carrick to Grangemockler eight times a day and make a return journey to Carrick seven times a day from Monday to Friday. When passengers reach Grangemockler they will just have a 10 minute wait to connect with the Dublin bus services.
There was a unanimous welcome for the NTA’s proposed solution at Carrick-on-Suir MDC’s monthly meeting last Thursday where Ms Graham’s letter was presented. A deputation from the Council met with NTA chiefs in April and appealed for the retention of the direct bus link between Carrick and Dublin.
Arising from this meeting, the NTA proposed that public transport users travel from Carrick to Clonmel by train or bus to connect to the Bus Eireann Route 7 bus for Dublin. Both options would have incurred greater inconvenience, extra cost and a lengthened the journey to Dublin and were criticised as unacceptable at the April meeting of the Council where it was decided to write back to the NTA outlining the local authority’s views. The NTA, in response, issued a letter to the Council on May 18 proposing the pilot shuttle bus to and from Grangemockler as an alternative solution.
Council Chairman Eddie O’Meara said it was a reasonable solution to their problem and he felt the deputation’s visit to the NTA had been worthwhile.
Carrick-on-Suir Cllr Kieran Bourke (IND) said it was wonderful news and constituents who made representations to him about the loss of the bus services were thrilled when they saw the timetable.
He pointed out that this solution looked after the residents of Carrick-on-Suir’s Camphill Community who use the Carrick/Dublin service to travel to Callan.
He paid tribute to the Council’s officials and elected members for their work on this campaign and criticised Fianna Fail Cllrs Siobhan Ambrose and Micheal Anglim for accusing Carrick MDC’s members of going on a “solo run” on this issue at a recent county council meeting.
“But for us looking after our neck of the woods, we wouldn’t have achieved this. I think it was politically immature to interfere with another district,” he thundered.
Cllr O’Meara agreed. “I think Carrick-on-Suir MDC runs an efficient outfit. We don’t need instruction as to how we run our business from anybody,” he declared.
Cllr David Dunne (SF) also welcomed the NTA’s new proposal and said it looked after the most vulnerable users of the Carrick to Dublin bus services, namely the residents of Camphill. He believed the Council deputation had done a good day’s work and also paid tribute to the Save Bus No. 7 Campaign for Carrick-on-Suir volunteers who collected a petition, held public meetings and lobbied TDs and Senators on the issue.
Cllr Dunne added that he was very disappointed that local Labour Senator Denis Landy didn’t get involved in the campaign.
Cllr Bourke proposed the District Council write to the NTA accepting its proposal.
At Cllr Dunne’s request, it was agreed to hold off on sending the letter of acceptance until the Sinn Fein councillor appraised the Save Bus No. 7 for Carrick-on-Suir campaign of the NTA’s shuttle bus service proposal.