In the discussion document presented by Bus Eireann to the unions on Monday there are three routes including one from Athlone to Westport proposed for closure. Any closure of rural bus routes must be resisted by public representatives in rural Ireland and in the West in particular. I attended a plan for the West and Rural Ireland to 2040 recently and there was great talk about how we can progress into the future. Then on Monday we hear proposals of possible bus route closures. It begs the question, does the right hand know what the left hand is doing?. We are proposing progress one day and the next we are proposing to close down services.
If the National Transport Authority has to revert to subvention to keep these routes open then so be it. I am calling on all public reprsentatives, senators and TD’s in rural Ireland, and in the West in particular to support the call that there be no bus route closures. I know that this is only a discussion document at this stage but this is not the first time that these three routes namely Dublin/Derry, Dublin/Clonmel, and Athlone/Westport have been mentioned. I will be raising this matter this week with Minister Ross as a matter of urgency. We cannot stand idly by and allow another attack on services in rural Ireland to take place.