Rural areas set to be hit amid Bus Eireann plans to axe just under 100 routes 6 years ago

Rural areas set to be hit amid Bus Eireann plans to axe just under 100 routes

Bad news for public transport users in rural Ireland.

Rural commuters are set to be the most affected by plans by Bus Eireann to drastically cut their services throughout the country in the near future.

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According to today’s Irish Independent, Bus Eireann are planning on cutting the number of routes in affected areas from 198 to 105, which would leave many towns and villages throughout the country without a direct link to the capital.

The routes under threat are Routes 5 (Dublin – Waterford, via Wicklow and Wexford), 7 (Dublin – Cork, via Kilkenny and Clonmel) and 21 (Athlone to Westport), with Bus Éireann chief executive Martin Nolan citing loss of revenue and the need for Government investment as reasons behind the proposed cuts to services.

"We are reluctant to come out of anywhere ... but the services cannot stay on the road if we do not make money," Nolan told the Irish Independent.

"Bus Éireann is following the market, we will have a number of towns and villages affected. We have two options - close the route, or conduct surgery.

"When that is forced upon us, what happens to the towns which are left behind? If the market is favouring the bigger towns and cities, the bit in the middle is going to be expensive (to service).

"It's a difficulty for a State company to come out of towns and villages, but it's a question of survival."