Galway Coach Station Problems Stem From Privatisation Of Public Services

People Before Profit Galway representative Adrian Curran has criticised the ongoing situation at the Coach Station on Fairgreen Road, where the private entity operating the station is charging private bus companies fees they are refusing to pay, causing them to use the public path outside for free instead. This is causing serious accessibility problems for those accessing public transport at the station, as well as nearby services.

Adrian Curran said:

“While Galway Coach Station was built on public land with public money – indeed, the City Council won a design award for it – it is run by a private operator who are entangled in a row with private bus operators refusing to pay the Station’s fees. This has led to the farcical situation where members of the public must queue on the street outside the station to board coaches, while the station itself mostly lies idle. This bad situation is likely to get worse with the increase in tourist numbers over the summer.”

“This situation is extremely serious and dangerous, as the buses alighting outside the station are obstructing the views of motorists driving up the hill. It is particularly inconvenient for persons with disabilities and mobility issues using public transport. Alongside inconveniencing those accessing bus services, it is also a serious hindrance to the often vulnerable people accessing the Galway Intreo Centre, which shares the Seán Duggan Centre with Galway Coach Station.”

“More broadly, the situation with the Seán Duggan Centre illustrates why Galway City Council must change course and stop its reliance on public-private partnerships. Part of the planning conditions of the Centre was that it would include social housing, but instead it contains very expensive private student accommodation. The state is paying rent on the Department of Social Protection offices at the Centre to a private company, when state money was used in constructing the building.”

“It also shows how private bus routes are inadequate replacements for the axed Galway to Dublin Bus Éireann route. Alongside being abysmally treated in this row between private companies, users of private bus routes will not benefit from recent fare reductions implemented on public transport.”