Criticism over exclusion of commuter villages in Limerick bus plan

Senator Paul Gavan at the Newtown bus shelter in Castletroy.

THE National Transport Authority’s Bus Connects Limerick plan has been criticised for the lack of additional services for key commuter locations like Castleconnell, Murroe, Caherconlish and Newport.

Speaking in the Seanad after the plan was unveiled last Wednesday, Limerick Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan said that while there was much to welcome in the plan, the complete failure to factor in a growing village like Castleconnell was a huge missed opportunity.

“Right now there are significant gaps in service during the day, gaps of three hours between buses. For many people travelling to work or college this means driving rather than using public transport,” he explained.

“Other villages that have seen a major expansion in population were similarly let down. People living in Murroe, Caherconlish and Newport will apparently have to continue to put up with sporadic services.

“There was an opportunity to take hundreds of cars out of the traffic congestion that faces commuters every morning and evening. Each of these locations now has hundreds of people travelling to Castletroy, Raheen and the city centre.

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“The people living in these villages play an integral part in the economy of Limerick. They should have been factored into this plan. When I raised this issue with the NTA this week they referred me to the Connecting Ireland plan but there are no additional services on offer there,” he added.

Consultation on the draft new network will run for six  weeks and Senator Gavan is urging residents to write to the NTA highlighting the failure to include these villages in the Bus Connects plan.