Whitmore raises concerns over Go Ahead bus services in Wicklow

Social Democrats TD for Wicklow Jennifer Whitmore has raised concerns regarding the provision of some bus routes in Wicklow that are run by the private company Go Ahead.

Deputy Whitmore made representations to officials in the National Transport Service and to Go Ahead itself, in relation to the 45a, the 185 to Enniskerry and the 184 to Newtownmountkennedy.

“There have been consistant issues with service delivery on each of these routes and I had many constituents in touch with me describing how this has impacted on their daily life,” said the TD.

“Concerns relate to late or cancelled bus services, no shows or buses no stopping at certain bus stops. Some people described driving their children to a bus stop in Newtownmountkennedy for the morning bus collection, only for the bus not to show and the parent arriving to work late as a result of dropping their kid off to school.

“The 45a has been particularly problematic as it is a very popular commuter route from Dun Laoghaire. One woman said the the 45A bus has become so unreliable she now must drive her children to and from school although the bus service is available. Some buses simply arrive much later than scheduled and in one testimony, with some women feeling ‘stranded’ and unsafe waiting at nighttime for a late bus or ‘no show’. Other passengers end up paying for a taxi to get to work or home. A woman wrote that almost every Saturday all buses between 5pm- 6pm do not show up in Dun Laoghaire.

“Shortcomings in the service are also affecting vulnerable users such as the elderly, special needs, etc who are very reliant on the service. A man waited over an hour for the 45a only fort the driver not stopping for him, and as a recent amputee this was a very difficult situation to find himself in. Another woman commented about a man with special needs waiting over an hour for a scheduled bus to get to another train and became very upset when he missed his train and had no other way of getting transport.

“In relation to the 185 to Enniskerry, there have been significant operational issues for this route and I met directly with Go Ahead to outline constituents concerns. Staffing and recruitment issues have been cited as causing problems for bus services however, I believe we have moved on from covid-related restrictions to now there being a long term operational issue at hand.

“Whatever the reason, constituents across Wicklow need a solution. With public transport already in high demand, gaps in service are making it extremely difficult for people reliant on these bus routes.

“I intend to raise these issues in the Dáil, with the Minister for Transport and will continue to provide constituency feedback to Go Ahead to ensure that all normal bus services resume as soon as possible,” ends Whitmore.

When contacted by WicklowNews.Net, a spokesperson for Go Ahead Ireland said they have recently launched a recruitment campaign which will meet the current and future demand.

“With new drivers joining the business and undertaking training on an ongoing basis, it is our intention that we address these localised issues as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson said.

“While we are working hard to deliver the best possible service for our customers, we do recognise passengers have been impacted and we would like to apologise to any customers who have had a negative experience due to missed journeys in Wicklow.”

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