THE launch of four new bus routes to Ballybunion, Cashel, Mitchelstown and Scariff will provide improved regional and national access to Limerick City under the new Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan.
Among the new and improved services going into operation from this Sunday is Route 332 which is the first ever direct public transport connection between Cashel and Limerick, including a direct service to the University of Limerick.
The extended Route 314 will link Limerick to Ballybunion, while Route 328 Mitchelstown will triple in frequency, and Route 345 to Scarriff will increase to five daily round trips.
Speaking at the launch of the new routes, Limerick Green Party TD Brian Leddin said that the connection between Cashel and Limerick will see a significant increase in service, from 29 services to 84 services per week.
“With 104 trips a week and a new peak time service for commuters to Listowel, this service will be vital not only to serve households who do not have a car, but will also encourage people to use public transport instead of the car to get to work or college and help reduce transport emissions,” he explained.
“With Ballybunion, Mitchelstown and Scarriff services also improving, this is a radical increase in rural public transport that shows our commitment to connecting towns and cities with frequent, regular and affordable services.
“The extended route 314 will link Limerick to Ballybunion, serving Mungret, Clarina, Kildimo, Pallaskenry, Kilcornan, Askeaton, Shanagolden, Foynes, Loughhill, Glen, Tarbert, Listowel, and Lisselton.
“The new services to Mitchelstown and Scariff (via Killaloe) will also see improved frequency from one service to multiple service a day,” Deputy Leddin added.
Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said that the new services demonstrated the Government’s commitment to linking towns and cities, and providing improved access to centres of employment, education, healthcare and retail.
“New routes, more routes and enhanced capacity on our public transport network in addition to the fare reductions introduced by the Government, will make it easier for people to be able to access and choose public transport as their preferred way of travelling this winter,” he added.
Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton said that people now have the choice of public transport that was previously not available to them.
“They now have the choice to keep more of their own money by using less energy through opting for public transport which is not only an environmentally friendly option but also socially inclusive and can be a cheaper way to get around”.