Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady speaking in the Dáil today called for an immediate revocation of the Go-Ahead Ireland contract. The National Transport Authority (NTA) will meet later this month to review the Go-Ahead Ireland contract. The contract, which is scheduled to run until October 2023, can be extended to October 2024. Deputy Brady has said that the Government and the NTA must however immediately revoke the licence. Go-Ahead Ireland have recently been fined €850,000 over their failure to deliver an adequate service on the thirty routes which they took over from Dublin Bus. The three routes in Wicklow, the 45a, the 184, and the 185 service the towns of Kilmacanogue, Greystones, Newtownmountkennedy, Enniskerry, and Bray.
“Yesterday, myself and a number of my colleagues in Sinn Féin from constituencies affected by the poor service provided by Go-Ahead protested outside the offices of the Department of Transport in Dublin. To demand that Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan take immediate action over the failures on the Go-Ahead Ireland routes in Wicklow.
Speaking in the Dáil earlier today, the Wicklow TD reiterated his anger at the record of unmitigated disaster on the three Wicklow routes in Wicklow.
“A bus service needs to be accessible, affordable, and reliable. The Go-Ahead bus service meets none of these criteria.
We have people across north Wicklow who rely on this service, being left abandoned by the side of the road, as services were cancelled without notice, or were running so late that they were forced to miss, or arrive late for work, school, or hospital appointments.
The whole experience of the Go-Ahead Ireland bus service in Wicklow has been an absolute disaster.
A disaster that has been brought about by the policies of this, and the previous government who want to see state services privatised.
The routes in question in Wicklow, were previously provided by Dublin Bus. But because of the privatisation policies of the government, these were offered to Dublin Bus.
The responsibility now lies with Minister Eamon Ryan to sort this out.
The contract needs to immediately be taken off Go-Ahead Ireland and given back to Dublin Bus to allow them to resume the same level of service as before.
The Minister cannot allow the current situation where we have people who rely on the bus service being forced to miss work, school, and hospital appointments, because a private company is unable, or unwilling to put in place the resources to provide the service that is needed.”