The announcement from the National Transport Authority today that the Athlone to Westport bus route which was earmarked for closure by Bus Eireann would be saved is very welcome. Not alone have the NTA said that the route should stay open but that the service would be doubled to recognise the public service obligation involved. This is something that I and others have been working very hard on since the proposal to cut the route was announced.
We sent e-mails to all TD’s in the West of Ireland to highlight the issue and while today’s news is positive it was a pity that we had to agitate so hard for the past two or three weeks before this decision was taken. It is good news for connectivity in the West of Ireland and thankfully the NTA has seen sense and the value of these routes which are a lifeline for people in rural areas and in the West of Ireland in particular.