Public transport? What public transport? That’s what Youghal bus commuters are asking.
This photograph was taken in recent days of Bus Eireann passengers queuing at Bertie Dempsey’s, car park, Youghal, for the early morning service.
The scene has led East Cork Municipality Chairperson, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley to request Bus Eireann bosses to appear before the next Sitting of the Municipal District.
The Youghal based Cllr said the National Bus Operator has serious questions to answer, as locals are regularly left to wait for up to an hour before they can board a bus service to Cork city.
In September, Bus Eireann Chiefs were hauled before the Municipal District to answer questions relating to anomalies in their route 40 services pricing structure.
Commuters who are travelling from Youghal and Midleton are paying more than double that of a passenger who boards the coach in Dungarvan.
At the time, the Cllrs were told by Company Service Manager, Tim O’Leary, that he could not do anything about the fare discrepancy, but this was later disputed by the National Transport Authority.
Cllr Linehan Foley said she is becoming increasingly frustrated with the bus company, as constituents are finding it more and more difficult to get to work.
“They are arriving a half hour earlier to queue, and to make sure they get a spot. It’s unacceptable, as it is a service for which they are paying enough, and it’s up to Bus Eireann to provide it.”
The aim of the bus service should be the creation of a “reliable, affordable” bus service and “congestion must be eased. Bus Eireann will have to re-look at the Youghal area”, commented Cllr Linehan Foley.
The increase in traffic problems along the N25 is partially a symptom of the poor service being provided by the national carrier, she said.
The Independent Cllr added that she has received countless complaints from people that “when they get to the top of the queue, the bus is full, and this will continue as it gets even busier coming up to Christmas.”
In a statement a Bus Eireann spokesperson said the Company is aware of the high levels of customer demand on the Route 40 service between Waterford and Cork.
They apologised to customers recently impacted, and said they continue to monitor passenger demand and provide additional capacity where possible.
The spokesperson added “Bus Eireann operate Route 260 between Ardmore, Youghal and Cork, with services commencing in Youghal at peak times in the morning, in an effort to deal with the demand.”
He said “Route 40 is a commercial service, while Route 260 is a Public Service Obligation (PSO) route and operated under Contract to the National Transport Authority (NTA).”