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Passage West & Carrigaline Bus Services: Crisis

Passage West And Carrigaline Bus Services: Crisis

Writes Leo McMahon

The bus services to Carrigaline and Passage West are getting worse, said members of Cork County Council’s Carrigaline-Ballincollig and Bandon-Kinsale Municipal Districts (MD) at recent meetings, both which unanimously agreed to invite a senior official from Bus Eireann to address this and other issues.

On the agenda at Carrigaline-Ballincollig MD was a motion from Cllr Derry Canty (FG) asking that the area manager be asked to attend a meeting in relation to the Ovens-Ballincollig-Douglas-Carrigaline-Crosshaven 220 and 220X routes.

‘Every day there’s someone on to me about the bus service’, said Cllr Michael Frick Murphy (SF) referring to the Cork-Passage West-Haulbowline 223 route which he added, is sometimes operated using private buses.

He again argued that the Carrigaline and Passage West services would be more efficient if operated out of Parnell Place bus station.

Cllr Joe Harris (SD) in support, said it was crazy to hear about bus journeys lasting three hours or more between Carrigaline and Cork Institute of Technology and Ballincollig. He too felt that most buses should only go to and from Parnell Place.

Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF) said bus corridors wouldn’t solve the problems councillors were highlighting and the answers they were getting were not satisfactory. It was clear services had deteriorated in recent months with incidents of buses being exceptionally late, people being stranded and buses being full up. It was also obvious there was need for more buses and drivers because the current journey times and the timetables and not sustainable for what was supposed to be a half-hourly service.

Cllr Marcia D’Alton (Ind) agreed and said that worryingly, using a bus was becoming a non-alternative because people couldn’t rely on one turning up when it was supposed to. She experienced this herself recently because she couldn’t afford a wait of an hour or longer coming from Passage West and opted to drive to the Park ‘n’ Ride at Black Ash instead to go to the city.

She feared that if more people did this and organised lift sharing, public transport could become less popular, resulting in numbers using it falling and it appearing less viable desirable which wasn’t really the case. It was clear, she added, that additional resources and frequencies were desperately needed instead of rationalisation as mentioned in November.

MD Chair, Cllr Mary Rose Desmond (FF) welcomed the fact that the area manager would be coming to the February meeting. Public transport, she stressed, was a key element of the MD.

Cllr Canty agreed that extra buses were needed but there were also inevitable traffic delays on a route that extended so far between Ovens and Crosshaven that put timings way out.

It was agreed to meet the Bus Eireann area manager in February.

At the recent Bandon-Kinsale MD meeting, Cllr Aidan Lombard (FG) and others also highlighted growing criticism of the Cork-Crosshaven service, adding that people were late for or missing appointments because buses didn’t turn up for well over an hour followed by two or three together. Perhaps it was also a matter for the National Transport Authority. He suggested a list of issues of concern, plus the lack of a bus service to Ballygarvan, be sent to the Bus Eireann manager in advance of him meeting the MD. This was agreed.

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