Bus Eireann has decided to delay implementing drastic cuts to bus services linking Carrick-on-Suir and four South Tipperary villages with Dublin pending the outcome of an investigation into whether some of the services can be saved.
It emerged this week that Ballyporeen, Clogheen and Ardfinnan also faced losing the ir Bus Eireann services linking the villages with Clonmel and Dublin.
Last month, there was outrage in Carrick-on-Suir when it was revealed the town as well as Kilsheelan were to lose all their daily Bus Eireann services to the capital. Users of the bus service from Carrick-on-Suir to Dublin were among protesters who demonstrated outside Waterford City Bus Station over the planned cuts on Saturday, February 14.
In the wake of mounting public and political pressure, Bus Eireann announced yesterday (Tuesday) that Route 7, which runs from Cork to Dublin via Clonmel and Kilkenny will remain in its current form until mid-June. Bus Eireann had planned to implement the cuts at the end of March.
A Bus Eireann spokeswoman said the planned changes to the schedule were being deferred until a report is completed by a new working group within the National Transport Authority (NTA)
This working group is examining whether, in the absence of any commercial services, a public service obligation (PSO) exists to provide socially necessary but commercially unviable public transport services.
The NTA said the examination will include an assessment of the demand for public transport services and whether to “re-configure” existing PSO service or competitively tender for the provision of new services.
Carrick-on-Suir Cllr Kieran Bourke, who first revealed the plans to end the bus services between his town and Dublin at the January meeting of Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District Council, said they need to ensure action is taken to save at least some of the bus services linking Carrick and other rural communities with Dublin.