County Limerick needs more bus shelters

Fianna Fáil Councillor Kevin Sheahan.

TRANSPORT Minister Eamon Ryan’s plans to make public transport more appealing is much like a car with only three wheels under it.

That’s according to Fianna Fáil councillor Kevin Sheahan, who believes that one vital piece of the plan is missing – bus shelters.

At last Monday’s meeting of Limerick City and County Council, Cllr Sheahan proposed that the Minister for Transport adopt a policy at national level to have bus shelters constructed where there is a bus stop.

The motion was seconded by Cllr Michael Collins (FF) and will now be sent to all local authorities for their consideration.

Fine Gael councillor Olivia O’Sullivan suggested that while this was a valid proposal in a “rural context”, bus shelters are often not wanted in city estates as they encourage antisocial behaviour.

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“In scenarios where they are not wanted, we cannot force them on neighbourhoods. We need to err on the side of caution on this,” she said.

Green Party councillor Seán Hartigan fully supported the motion and said it was “very worthwhile”.

“I am very surprised to hear Cllr O’Sullivan come out against bus shelters,” he added, suggesting that she would “leave people standing out in the rain”.

Fine Gael councillor Adam Teskey called on the Council to construct a bus shelter at the Heritage Centre in Adare — a site owned by the local authority. Cllr Teskey said it was “badly needed” in the tourist village.

“We have a huge issue in County Limerick where people are left standing on the side of the road with rain pouring down on them,” he said.

“It should be standard procedure to put in bus shelters.”

Cllr Michael Donegan (FF) said that, in South East Limerick, bus stops were placed in an ad-hoc manner. He called for the motion to be forwarded onto the National Transport Authority (NTA).

Cllr Olivia O’Sullivan came back in to clarify that she wasn’t against bus shelters.

“I agree with bus shelters, and I would love to see them all have a green roof,” she said, alluding to plans by the Council to have the roofs of bus shelters covered in plant life.

Cllr Kevin Sheahan agreed that her earlier comments were reasonable as they came from a “reasonable councillor”.

“We might include in an audit the frequency of stops. There is only one stop in towns and villages. People on zimmer-frames can’t walk. No consideration is given,” he concluded.