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Frustration Continues Over Absence of Passage-Carrigaline Bus Connection

Updated: Jun 25, 2021

Writes Ciaran Dineen

Over three years after it was declared that a bus route linking Passage West with Carrigaline was on the cards, frustration continues to mount over the continued absence of the service.

At May’s meeting of the Carrigaline Municipal District (MD) meeting, local councillors were joined via Zoom by a representative of the National Transport Authority (NTA), who provided updates for attendees on the latest plans for public transport in the short-term future.

Councillors have for some time requested the attendance of a representative of the NTA to come before the MD, in an attempt to solve a number of minor issues that currently affect the delivery of bus services in the area.

It’s the first time since February 2018 that public representatives have had this type of discussion with the NTA at a municipal level. Just over three years ago, members of the old Ballincollig-Carrigaline ward welcomed area manager Martin Walsh to County Hall, where it was first revealed that the introduction of the 220 and 220x would come into operation, with further details emerging about the 225 service from Haulbowline to Cork Airport, via Ballygarvan. It was also at this time that Mr Walsh declared that a route connecting Passage West with Carrigaline was “etched in stone”, but to date no such service has been provided.

Councillor Marcia D’Alton (Ind) has led the way in highlighting the dire need for residents in Passage West to have access to public transport that would connect them with their neighbouring town. This became a real issue once medical services were withdrawn from Passage and relocated in the Carrigaline Primary Care Centre, with no provision for a route to the medical centre directly from Passage West.

Raising the issue with the NTA yet again, Cllr D’Alton stated that “I can’t emphasise enough how badly this connection is needed. I can’t emphasise enough the frustration over the CMATS report launch when the route between Passage West and Carrigaline wasn’t included. I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve asked for that connection. Essential services have been withdrawn from Passage West, which was the dominant town in years gone by. When the last of those services was withdrawn, the public health centre, Passage West residents, if they were sick, couldn’t get to the Primary Care Centre without three bus changes. It’s now two bus changes but it’s not okay, it’s not acceptable and it’s not good enough.”

In response to Cllr D’Alton’s comments, Edward Rhys Thomas of the NTA noted that he was aware that “there has been several representations made to the Authority on this”. He went on to state that as part of the overall BusConnects programme for public transport in Cork, consultants have been appointed to consider the interconnectivity and network of bus transit across the suburbs, adding that potential routes such as one that will eventually link Passage West with Carrigaline via one service, is something that is likely to be looked at.

Carrigmahon Needs to be Served

Both Councillor Seámus McGrath (FF) and Cllr D’Alton have requested that alterations to either the 223 or 216 bus service be made so as to improve the bus frequency through Carrigmahon estate, which currently only has limited immediate access to public transport as it currently stands. Cllr McGrath noted that traditionally, residents in the area, many of whom would be elderly and in need of a regular bus service, had been used to a more frequent schedule of buses but are no longer served adequately.

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