People Before Profit Waterford have set up an online petition aimed at Bus Éireann, calling for an immediate solution to the lack of transport to and from Dunmore East.
“The provision of a double decker bus service on the Waterford to Dunmore route is urgently needed”, says Úna Dunphy, “and must be in place before the schools reopen”.
Dunmore has been without any regular daily bus service for months. The private operators stopped services because the social distancing rules meant the buses weren’t profitable. The Slieverue/Hospital service also discontinued. A separate petition exists to reinstate this much used service also.
The public service remit of Bus Éireann is the key to resolving the issue in Dunmore and around the country, according to Ms Dunphy, as the privatisation for profit policy has been brutally exposed during the pandemic. “It’s been the same with private operators in cities (e.g. Galway) and other areas of the country, where routes were given over to private operators, or where private services operated since the foundation of the State, such as the Waterford to Dunmore route”.
People can’t afford €20 each way in taxis to visit the City for work, shopping, for doctor or Hospital appointments, or to visit relatives. They haven’t got train or Inter City bus services. Young people can’t get to town to meet their friends or to shop.
Úna insists, “The Bus Éireann City service should be extended to provide the Dunmore route with Double Decker buses to carry more passengers whilst facilitating social distancing.”
Reliable restored routes are essential not only to public service but in the interest of reducing emissions. Bus Éireann can and should provide a double decker service to Dunmore, ahead of schools reopening.