Westport bus service must adapt to meet community needs – Naughten

In Infrastructure, South Roscommon by Denis Naughten

busEireannLocal TD, Denis Naughten, has strongly criticised the plan by Bus Éireann to issue a “use it or lose it” demand to communities along the Westport/Athlone bus route.

Speaking in the Dáil this week, Denis Naughten said “instead of Bus Éireann threatening to close down the Westport bus route, they should be trying to alter it, to ensure that more people can actually avail of the service” said Denis Naughten.

“For example, Bus Éireann needs to ensure that the Westport bus service connects with flights into and out of Knock Airport, thereby increasing the potential for people to use the bus service”.

“Every year over 100,000 people either from County Roscommon or visiting the county, pass through Knock Airport yet, the bus service to the airport is nothing short of a joke”.

He continued by stating that “the National Transport Authority needs to “grab the bull by the horns” and address the “lack of joined-up thinking”, with regard linking bus schedules with hospital and medical services.

“Since Roscommon Hospital closed, people all along the route of the Westport/Athlone bus service, are forced to travel to Castlebar or Portiuncula Hospitals for appointments but no effort has been made to accommodate them on Bus Éireann services”.

“Roscommon Hospital is about to open its new colonoscopy unit, where patients will not be allowed to drive home after their procedure, and it now seems that just as it is about to be opened  it is planned to shut down the bus service”.

“Why can we not use what we have, and support the health service by providing timely bus services which will in turn, will put more passengers on the buses? This is one simple, cost effective way to make sure that vast parts of rural Ireland are not left without any public transport service, whatsoever”.

“We have to stop passing the book, Government agencies have to start working together, in the interests of the people they are supposed to be serving, not in the interest of their own management” concluded Denis Naughten

See Denis’ contribution here: http://youtu.be/9cZP9-aDQBs