Writes Ciaran Dineen
Issues around the reliability of the 220-bus service are, amongst other things, as a result of ‘chronic traffic’ - according to representatives of Bus Éireann. The point was raised at the November meeting of the Carrigaline Municipal District (MD) in County Hall, where local County Councillors were able to raise ongoing issues relating to public transport in the area with representatives of Bus Éireann.
All six Councillors present posed questions to the representatives in attendance from Bus Eireann, which included concerns on “no-show buses”, late buses, and poor service on several local routes – including the 216, 220, 220X, 223 and 225.
Addressing the reliability concerns relating to not only the local routes but public transport in general, Mr Aled Williams of Bus Éireann stated that chronic traffic created by private vehicles in the city centre are the primary cause of reliability issues. Mr Williams reflected particularly on the ‘bus only’ hours which are supposed to be imposed on St Patrick’s Street during the day but suggested that these were not being adhered to by many private vehicle drivers, resulting in a build up of traffic. He also stated that vehicles parking illegally in defined bus stops was creating further issues, and more light should be shone on such driver behaviour.
Cork Busconnects is attempting to introduce measures to support the delivery of Strategic Transport Corridors, which would allow buses to bypass vehicular, private traffic, but has led to a lot of criticism from the public and it is likely that revisions of the scheme will be required before they become more palatable. Mr. Williams further added that traffic on Sundays in the lead up to Christmas is likely to increase and may reach peak levels seen during Monday-Friday.
‘Privately -Funded’ Bus Stops To Be Discussed With National Transport Authority
Bus Éireann representatives have described the prospect of privately-funded bus stops and shelters as ‘a very interesting concept’, and have agreed to raise the matter with the National Transport Authority. Cllr Audrey Buckley raised the possibility of private investment in bus stops in order to provide badly needed shelters in local areas.
Currently, neither Cork County Council nor Bus Éireann has the authority to decide on where and when bus stops and shelters can be erected and it is entirely at the discretion of the National Transport Authority. For some time this has been an area of extreme frustration for local councillors, who despite being best placed to offer an opinion on the need and requirement for bus stops and shelters, can do no more than write a letter to the NTA acting on their constituents behalf.