The Leas-Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council has expressed his shock and disappointment at media reports suggesting Bus Eireann is to end a service that serves people in Laois.
Fine Gael Councillor Conor Bergin made the comments following an Irish Times story on the matter.
According to the paper: “Bus Éireann is to close down several of its inter-city routes as a result of financial pressures brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is understood the State-owned transport company is to end the current Dublin-Cork, Dublin-Limerick and Dublin-Galway routes.
“However, it is understood the company does not plan any job losses as a result of the route closures.
“Instead, it is understood Bus Éireann is planning an expansion of its operations in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford, where it offers city services.”
According to Cllr Bergin, this decision will leave Laois with no Bus Eireann intercity services.
He said: “I am extremely shocked and disappointed with today’s reports in the media that Bus Eireann will end their X12 bus service from Dublin-Limerick, which serves people in County Laois.
“Borris-In-Ossory, Castletown and Mountrath were already bypassed by Bus Eireann who withdrew the X12 service in 2014, to take the M7 motorway directly from Portlaoise to Roscrea.
“This decision will leave County Laois with no Bus Eireann intercity services.
“This is a very serious issue which I intend to raise with both Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD and the National Transport Authority, who authorise any such changes to the routes.
“As a semi-state company, Bus Eireann have a public service obligation to serve communities who depend on vital bus services for transport to college, work and hospital appointments.
“Notwithstanding the current difficulties with the COVID-19 pandemic, if these services are withdrawn, they will be withdrawn permanently from County Laois.
“Rural communities and regional towns like Portlaoise need proper and frequent bus services and this is an issue which I will continue to fight for with the relevant authorities.”
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