LABOUR Party councillor Elena Secas has deemed the failure by the National Transport Authority (NTA) to get a replacement bus service off the ground for the 307/308 route as ‘unacceptable’.
Speaking to the Limerick Post last week, Cllr Secas pointed out that the Dublin Coach bus service was withdrawn at short notice almost two months ago.
“This has given the NTA two months during the quieter summer period to provide a replacement bus service. The dither and delay in putting a replacement service in place is unacceptable,” she insisted.
“Secondary schools have already resumed and primary schools are starting in the next few days and most people are back at work after the summer break. These are all people who depend on this bus service to get to work and school.”
The City East representative feels that this underscores the need for Bus Éireann to expand their service provision to serve all of Castletroy and Annacotty, which are the fastest growing suburbs of Limerick.
“If we had proper public transport serving these areas, residents would not be in this position now, left with no bus service at all. I have repeatedly contacted the NTA who have told me for weeks that ‘discussions with a potential operator are continuing’. What on earth is taking so long?
“The NTA initially said in late July that once the funding was put in place a replacement service would be implemented as quickly as possible. More than a month has since passed and the schools have returned and there is still no replacement bus.
“It is time now for the NTA to pull the finger out and resolve this immediately through the Public Service Obligation. This shouldn’t have been allowed to run into September when the busy autumn commuter and college term is commencing. The service should have been off the ground up and running smoothly by now.”
In response, the NTA said: “Discussions with a potential operator are ongoing, with a view to the introduction of a replacement service as quickly as possible.”