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Forde - AerDart service closure highlights danger of transport privatisation

10 March, 2005

Sinn Féin Councillor Killian Forde has expressed his anger at the news that the privately run AerDart service, linking Howth Junction DART Station and the Airport, is to be closed with the loss of nine jobs. The service which is due to finish on the 20th of March is closing, according to the company, due to the falling passenger numbers caused by the closure of the DART at the weekend.

Cllr Forde said:

"This service has proved invaluable for air passengers and workers getting to the airport. One worker, who contacted me this morning, will now have to take a DART into town and a bus back out to the airport to get to work adding on an extra 45 mins to her daily commute. There is a lot of annoyance that this service is ending.

"The ending of this service highlights the dangers of privatising bus services. They only remain viable as long as profits remain high and can be scraped at a moments notice.

"The suspension of the weekend DART services is temporary. The company that runs the AerDart service - ComfortDelGro - is a multi national company with deep pockets - the least they could have done was respect the customers that paid money to them for the past four years and stick with the service for the next three months until the DARTs are back running at the weekend.

"The irony in this is that Dublin Bus will not be able to replace this service because they have been refused extra funding for new stock until they open up their bus routes to private operators. It is an unbelievable situation.

"I will be writing to the Minister for Transport asking him not to consider the ComfortDelGro company for any new bus route when the DART reopens at the weekend. I will also be pointing out the very real danger that bus privatisation causes and urging him to immediately release the money for the 150 buses we were promised in 2001." ENDS

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