Tangible Results for Local Bus Services
But Further Progress Urgently Required
Writes Ciaran Dineen
It has now been set in stone that the long-awaited reform of the 220 and 220x bus services will be delivered from January 13th 2019. The changes will see a huge increase in service frequency for the 220 service, which will be welcome news to thousands of users in the Carrigaline and Crosshaven areas. However, people living in Ringaskiddy, Monkstown, Passage West and Ballygarvan will be bitterly disappointed with the apparent lack of progress announced by Bus Éireann.
The fight to secure significant improvements in our public transport system has been an arduous one. Local councillors and TDs had become inundated with complaints from their constituents in relation to the bus services from September 2017 onwards.
A mixture of these collective complaints and the relaying of messages from councillors to Bus Éireann officials eventually culminated with BE regional manager, Martin Walsh, making an appearance at a Carrigaline-Ballincollig Municipal District meeting in February of last year.
Almost one year later there are signs of tangible progress but there is still room for major improvement. The changes to the 220 service will come nearly 5 months later than first thought and no changes in frequency have been made to the 223 service. The enhancements to the 220 will see the core weekday frequency of buses doubled from every 30mins to every 15mins from 6am until midnight.
While there are no changes to 220x frequency, the decision seemingly has been made that every second 220 bus will serve Crosshaven.
Perhaps the biggest news of all is that the 220 bus will now run on a 24 hour service. This has been widely praised and has garnered national attention. There will now be a 30/60 minute frequency from 12a.m to 6a.m, showing huge progress considering that the last bus to Carrigaline from South Mall is currently 11:20. Both 220 and 220x will now serve the Carrigaline Primary Care Centre, while weekend frequency has also been increased on the 220 to every 15mins from 9am until midnight.
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