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Bus Éireann Cutbacks must be resisted – Doherty

22 June, 2009 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Speaking as talks broke down between unions and management at Bus Éireann Sinn Féin Transport Spokesperson Senator Pearse Doherty has said the proposed cuts by management must be resisted. Senator Doherty said local bus services are essential for the economic viability of towns and cities throughout Ireland and now is the time for investment.

Senator Doherty said:

“Public transport in this state is taking a beating. Management at Bus Éireann have revealed that cuts to more than 99 Bus Éireann routes will come into effect in the coming weeks with the loss of 320 workers.

“Among the services that face withdrawal or reduction in frequency under the first phase of the plan are Galway-Clifden, Dublin-Drogheda, Tuam-Galway, Portumna-Dublin, Tralee-Killarney-Cork, Limerick-Shannon, Tralee-Dingle and evening services after 19.00 in Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford.

“Routes that could be hit as part of a second phase of cuts include Dublin-Tullow, Drogheda-Navan, Waterville-Tralee and Athlone-Sligo. About 220 drivers will go as part of the overall cost-cutting programme along with a further 100 workers.

“As well as this, Minister O’Cuiv’s cuts to evening and night-time services in east and west Cork, Sligo, Roscommon, Donegal, Laois and Cavan will expire on July 10th and will not be renewed by the department.

“The treatment of public transport by this government is shocking to say the least. The Green Party has a lot to answer for. These cuts will be detrimental to communities and to those most at risk of social exclusion. Fianna Fáil and the Greens really need to take a step back and realise what they are allowing to happen.

“Local bus services are essential to the economic viability of many towns and cities throughout the State and slashing them will not only mean a loss of jobs in Bus Éireann but will be detrimental to the creation of further jobs.

“Now, more than ever, the Government should be investing in public services such as education, health, and transport. Every largely populated urban centre should have a shuttle bus service and rural areas should be catered adequately by the Rural Transport Service. The proposed cuts by Bus Éireann Management must be resisted and Sinn Féin will support the unions and the workers in their opposition to them.” ENDS

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