Fears that changes to bus route will hit Tipperary communities

SHANE DONNELLY

Reporter:

SHANE DONNELLY

Concerns over No. 7 bus route raised.
There are growing fears that Bus Eireann is to cancel several routes on its Dublin to Cork service that passes through Tipperary.

There are growing fears that Bus Eireann is to cancel several routes on its Dublin to Cork service that passes through Tipperary.

Expressway Route 7, which services such areas as Ardfinnan, Ballyporeen, Clogheen and Clonmel, is to be evaluated by the transport company.

Local residents are concerned that Bus Eireann may bypasss smaller areas by using the motorway.

Clonmel Sinn Fein Councillor Catherine Carey has also received confirmation from the National Transport Authority that Bus Eireann has sought to amend the license for this route.

Cllr Carey believes that this is an attack on rural Ireland and the most vulnerable.

“All of the smaller places in between the bigger towns and cities will be avoided - some people, especially the elderly, who cannot drive will have no means of going to bigger cities for hospitals and other vital services”, she says.

She believes that if implemented, the amendments stand to contribute to rural isolation and further damage to isolated communities.

For some of the population centres along Route 7, Bus Eireann is the only publicly operated service linking them to Dublin and Cork.

In response to claims the route would be changed, Bus Eireann issued a response that all routes are evaluated for performance and customer needs.

They said that all 25 Expressway routes are commercial services that receive no state funding and must be commercially viable.

“We cannot confirm whether any change to services will occur on the Expressway Route 7 until we complete our normal evaluation and consultation process”.

Councillor Carey has called on all public representatives and on concerned residents and readers to support the campaign to retain the route. 

Already over 1,300 names are signed on a ‘Keep Route 7 Campaign’ petition.

Cllr Carey said - “There is huge demand for the petition.

“As Bus Eireann didn’t confirm or deny the changes, that rings huge alarm bells in my ears”.

The petition is available to sign in local shops in the affected areas.

The National Transport Authority has no legislative powers to refuse such changes.