Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy has called on the Minister for Transport to ensure that the Expressway service, which her says is vital for rural Ireland, is safeguarded for the future.
“Bus Éireann’s financial position has worsened considerably since Minister Ross took office. However it seems that the Minister is oblivious to this problem and is unaware that the company is on the verge of shutting down many of its key routes serving large swathes of the country,” said Deputy Murphy.
“Bus Éireann reported losses of up to €5.6 million for 2015, an estimated €6m in 2016 and now it is anticipated that losses will exceed €7m for 2017. This is deeply worrying considering the improving economy and demonstrates that there is a fundamental problem at the heart of Bus Éireann’s operations.
“The semi-state company faults some Expressway services for the significant mounting losses. As a result, the company is planning to make sweeping changes to routes serving vast swathes of the country, which it will publish in an upcoming report by Grant Thornton auditors.
“If the Expressway services to Dublin or other cities is cut this will further the economic gap between rural and urban Ireland. This is further evidence of the neglect of rural Ireland by Fine Gael and their Independent colleagues. Rural isolation is becoming one of the most worrying prospects for my constituents and if we lose vital bus route services such as the Expressway service from Ballina to Dublin which is vital for the movement of people from the West of Ireland to Dublin, it will leave our students, tourists, day shoppers and many more commuters without any form of transport that will get them to the small villages and towns along the way for whom this service is vital.”