Dáil debates

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Public Transport Provision

1:30 pm

Photo of Frank O'RourkeFrank O'Rourke (Kildare North, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister. I acknowledge, as I did in my original contribution, that we agree with much of what is contained in the BusConnects proposal but the problem for a town like Celbridge is that it cannot wait until BusConnects delivers on that. There has to be some intervention in the interim. I have met the NTA and Dublin Bus representatives and the reality is that because Celbridge has a population of 22,000 and there is so much development happening in that area, on the 67X service people are being left at bus stops in the morning. What is needed to deal with that issue now are two additional Xs in the morning and in the evening servicing Celbridge and then leaving Dublin a little later. If we have to wait for BusConnects, which I am aware through public consultation is coming out in June, this problem will get out of control because it is already very difficult for people and, as a result, they are not using public transport because of the problems I have outlined.

The Minister said the 67 service will be replaced by the C4. The problem with that is that it is going into Leixlip and Lucan, therefore reducing the direct service from Celbridge to Dublin. When that bus is returning, unfortunately, Celbridge people cannot get on that bus to come home whereas the buses servicing Lucan and Leixlip have other services available to them. People travelling to Lucan, Chapelizod or Leixlip have three or four options whereas Celbridge has only one, so if a person does not get on that service, he or she does not get there. Our proposals to the NTA and Dublin Bus and through the BusConnects system was that every alternative 67, or C4, would go direct from Celbridge to Dublin and then every second one would go in via Lucan and Chapelizod. That needs to happen to have an immediate impact to try to deal with the problem.

I have acknowledged that the W8 and the 259 the Minister mentioned are positive developments but they need to be implemented as soon as possible. Waiting for that to happen until after the BusConnects proposal is approved, which will be much later this year, is way too late. This is a problem now. We are at capacity, there are major issues, and we would appreciate the Minister's intervention. Is it possible for the Minister to have a meeting with the NTA and Dublin Bus to discuss these issues and come up with practical solutions to try to deal with the current stalemate?


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