Students and hospitality staff will be "hit hardest" if Nitelink isn't restored on 22 October 1 week ago

Students and hospitality staff will be "hit hardest" if Nitelink isn't restored on 22 October

“It is a huge thing, not only for customers heading out at night but also for our staff."

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) has said it is a "no brainer" to reinstate the Nitelink on 22 October when clubs are set to reopen.

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In a letter to Fianna Fáil TD Cormac Devlin, the National Transport Authority (NTA) said the suggestion was still under consideration.

The TD said on Twitter on Monday that Students and hospitality staff will be "hit hardest" if the Nitelink isn't restored when restrictions are lifted.

"We need to support night-time workers and customers," he continued, urging people to email Transport Minister Eamon Ryan at eamon.ryan@oir.ie to ask for the service to resume on 22 October.

LVA Chairman Noel Anderson told Newstalk on Monday that the Nitelink is a "huge thing" not only for customers but also for hospitality staff.

“All the indications from London and New York show a big bounce in the late-night economy, a lot of pent-up demand, so waiting for a 24-hour system to kick in is madness and it needs to happen on the 22," he said.

“They will have to get family members up out of bed or taxis and anybody that has been out in Dublin City Centre on a Friday or Saturday night will see how much of a struggle it is to get a taxi at the best of times - So, add this on top of it and it would be an unholy mess.”

He added that a bus would be the "preferred mode of transport" for many workers to avoid costly taxis.

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“Depending on where you live, it doesn’t matter what you are working at, a bus is a lot cheaper than a taxi and it is definitely the preferred mode of transport for a lot of hospitality staff,” he said.

Former Dublin Lord Mayor Hazel Chu added that there needs to be a Nitelink service "from now until Christmas at least" adding that it can't just be in Dublin and should be instated "nationwide".

“You need to protect the people going out, you need to protect the workers and you need to ensure there is safe efficient transport for them to go home and the Nitelink is one of those key transports," she told the Hard Shoulder.

“The service industry is on its knees at the moment. What we need to do is give as much help as possible to those people working in these industries and those enjoying those industries, and transport is a key element."