Minister for Transport expresses no opinion on Expressway privatisation plans - Imelda Munster TD
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Imelda Munster TD today questioned Minister Shane Ross, on foot of Bus Éireann management’s revelations to unions regarding plans to privatise the entire Bus Éireann Expressway service. Unions were informed the plans involve separating the Expressway service in it’s entirety from the rest of the service, and bringing in new terms and conditions for staff within Expressway.
At a Transport Committee meeting, Minister Ross admitted to Deputy Munster that Bus Éireann had made a presentation to him on same on 12th September, and the Minister said he did not interact and did not approve or disapprove of the plans.
Deputy Munster said:
“What kind of a Minister, who is responsible for transport in this state could sit at a presentation overseeing the decimation of our public transport network, and couldn’t muster a nod in either direction, never mind an opinion, on something as fundamental as this”.
“This will effectively break the link between rural Ireland and main routes. You will have private companies coming in, creaming off the most profitable routes and abandoning the least profitable. It would also mean that private operators, once awarded the contract, can amend the service, amend the routes and amend the frequency of stops.”
“So commuters, the length and breadth of the state will be at the mercy of profit-making and profit- focused routes and service provision.”
Deputy Munster also asked the Minister if this was the start of his plan for privatisation of the public transport network.
“This proposal to separate the entire Expressway service is another step in government’s privatisation agenda. Prior to this we saw 10% of Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann put out to tender. This is far too important a matter for Minister Ross to claim indifference.”