AN extra daily return bus service from Bruff to Limerick City is being sought by Independent Rural Ireland TD Richard O’Donoghue.
The County Limerick politician raised the issue as a matter of urgency in the Dáil last week.
“I am currently seeking the provision of an extra bus service for Bruff, as we have demand, in addition to Bruff having a centre for Ukrainian refugees,” Deputy O’Donoghue explained.
“The bus services are being put under great pressure in the mornings as people are travelling to work, education institutes, and social appointments.
“The knock-on impact is that the bus is full when it leaves Bruff and this means people waiting at other stops, such as at Grange and Ballyneety, cannot use the service,” he said.
“Many parents of third level students in South Limerick are commuting up to 150km daily to get their children to classes. He then called on the colleges to join in addressing the issue.
“They should put on a park-and-ride service to ensure these students can get to their classes and get there on time.
“I refer as well to public transport in the context of outreach clinics set up around the country, such as by the HSE and Headway Ireland. Service users, including the blind and the elderly, need to get to their appointments in clinics, but many cannot because they have no alternative transport.
“Equally, the current rental market also means that bus services are extremely important. We can see how Local Link services and the private bus providers have been carrying this burden for many years. Now, I ask that the bus services be put in place.
“Transport for Ireland has set up Local Link services as a link to national bus services. Lack of housing and student accommodation is forcing many of our young people to stay at home rather than renting, and this is resulting in a huge demand for bus links among those going to work and universities and colleges,” he concluded.
Replying on behalf of the Transport Minister, Minister of State and fellow County Limerick TD Niall Collins said that he was also in the process of lobbying for an increased frequency on the bus routes serving Bruff and Kilmallock and other locations in Limerick.
“I am also lobbying the NTA for increased bus shelters where we have a deficiency of infrastructure.”
“Under connecting Ireland, the NTA is proposing an overall increase of approximately 25 per cent in rural bus services as part of the five-year connecting Ireland plan.
“Hundreds of rural villages and areas will for the first time be served by a viable public transport link. Service improvements are being rolled out under connecting Ireland with more planned before the end of this year,” Minister Collins concluded.