Safety concerns raised over Limerick City bus route

An extension of the 301 bus route is being sought to include a night-time service in the Hyde Road area.

RESPONDING to calls for a night-time bus service in the Hyde Road area of Limerick City, a Bus Éireann source has expressed concern over the fact that the service was halted because of antisocial behaviour.

The person, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Limerick Post that, in the past, buses travelling the 301 Hyde Road route after 7pm had to contend with windows being broken and obstruction by double-parked cars.

“The 301 has to go down Barrington Street after 7pm to avoid the area. The bus drivers would prefer to go Hyde Road but it is not safe”.

At last month’s Metropolitan District meeting of Limerick City and County Council, Cllr Sarah Kiely (FG) said it was “shameful” that Limerick Regeneration areas were being forgotten in terms of public transport.

She claimed that areas already disadvantaged with the lowest levels of car ownership are now being left without adequate bus services.

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The City East representative went on to propose that an invitation be sent to the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Bus Éireann to appear before the Council to discuss the 301 and 303 bus routes and timetables.

“On Route 303, there is a bus every 15 minutes changing to 30 minutes later in the night. She now wants that changed and give one to 301. It was she who demanded this frequent bus service for O’Malley Park — a service that is not used after 7pm,” the Bus Éireann source claimed.
“I wonder did she tell you about the security that had to be put in place to allow the buses go up that estate at night?  At a cost of €7,000 per week, coming to €365k per year. A car and two security lads were driving on behind the bus from 5pm to 11.30pm to service O’Malley Park.
“I feel that money could be better spent,” the source said.
“It was mentioned about St Mary’s Park and Garryowen having a late night service. The 301 passes St Mary’s Church and the 304 passes Limerick Prison and Childers Road. Perfect for Garryowen.”
In response, Cllr Kiely said that if there are issues that need to be highlighted, she would be happy to take on that challenge.
“This person said Hyde Road is a ‘no go area’. That is untrue. I go there daily. They also say buses were damaged, years ago. So do we stand over the past and stop progress? I think not.
“If the buses were removed for reasons of antisocial behaviour, that is a Garda issue and needs to be resourced to provide protection for the service, for the drivers, and for the passengers,” she said.
Cllr Kiely added that Hyde Road will have significant investment from the National Transport Authority (NTA) in the coming weeks and months.
“The safety works will save lives and provide a better area to live work and travel. Sometimes people use antisocial behaviour as an excuse to pull a service or withdraw from an area. This is unacceptable. I will continue to lobby for a bus service from Hyde Road after 7pm.
“The NTA are investing in the infrastructure, they must also prioritise the provision of services. What is the point in putting in bus stops and not having a service?” she asked.