The National Transport Authority insists that local link bus services in Clare are not under threat.
Amid concerns that the service could be downgraded, or even threatened altogether by virtue of the transfer of a key office function away from Clare Bus, the NTA insists the service will remain.
While it’s feared that a co-ordination unit will be transferred away from Clare Bus, to Newcastle West in Limerick, it’s understood that process has not been completed.
The National Transport Authority has today issued a brief statement to Clare FM, in respect of the planned transfer of the Transport Co-ordination Unit from Clare Bus to Limerick local Link.
It’s feared this will see a serious downgrade of the bus service here but the NTA says its “happy to assure customers” that there is no threat to Local Link bus services in Clare.
It also says the procurement process is ongoing, suggesting that no contract has been signed as of yet.
Political pressure is continuing to mount on the NTA and on the government to stall the process before the service is removed from Clare Bus.
In the Dáil, Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley challenged Leo Varadkar on the controversy.
For his part, the Taoiseach says he will examine it further.
But serious concern is being expressed in Clare about what the impact of the change will be, should it proceed as planned.
Marion is from Kilrush, and her husband, who is living with Motor Neuron Disease, is a regular Clare Bus user.
She says it’s a lifeline.
Tomorrow will see Clare’s Oireachtas members meet with the NTA on this issue, with strong public support already demonstrated for Clare Bus.
Close to 4,000 people have signed an online petition to save the service, while a further 1,500 have signed a paper one.
Manager of Clare Bus Chris Kidney says the political and community support they’ve received means they’re still hopeful of a positive outcome.