It’s claimed the National Transport Authority must be held accountable over its handling of the Clare Bus controversy.
After the Clare Bus chairman admitted they would be unable to afford to run the service until the end of the year, the NTA issued some assurance to them on their funding, which led to a crisis meeting being called off.
However, despite this short-term solution, there’s still a shadow of doubt over the company’s future.
The blue and yellow Clare Bus vehicles remain on the roads for the time being at least, after last night’s emergency Board meeting was cancelled.
It had been called after concerns emerged over the ability of Clare Bus management to keep the service going with the level of funding being provided to them.
Following some engagement from the National Transport Authority, in which the NTA indicated it would review the level of funding, it was agreed to stand down the meeting and keep the service going – for now.
Clare Bus Chair Ger Hoey says this is a temporary fix but they remain hopeful.
That tender process kicks off in January.
The NTA announced in recent weeks the the contract for the delivery of the service would go to public tender, route by route, rather than being awarded directly, as has previously been the case.
This means that the future remains in doubt for the current operators and Maghera Fianna Fáil Councillor Pat Hayes isn’t best pleased about it.
Transport Minister Shane Ross insisted on his visit to Clare last week that he cannot interfere but Cllr Hayes wants someone to hold the NTA to account.
Meanwhile, Clare’s Independent TD has criticised the National Transport Authority for not properly examining the level of the service that is currently provided by the Clare Bus operators, Clare Accessible Transport.
He says it won’t be replicated easily should the buses be operated by another company.