- New service kicking in on March 1st
- Work not finished in East Clare
Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe has welcomed confirmation that there will be an enhancement of rural bus connections in Clare, after some uncertainty about the future of services in recent days.
Senior Bus Éireann officials have confirmed that they will be transferring two of their West Clare services to Local Link from March 1st.
This is on the back of the July Stimulus package announced by the government last year.
However, in East Clare, a question mark remains over an add-on to the much used Scariff to Limerick route.
“There has been some misinformation circulating in recent days that there will be a loss of bus services in the West Clare area but thankfully, this is not the case,” said Deputy Crowe.
“In fact, rather than a hit to rural transport in the west of the county, we will see a better, enhanced service rolled out.
“I’ve been speaking with senior figures in both Bus Éireann and Local Link who have confirmed that both the 333 and 336 will be managed by Local Link from the beginning of next month.
“The 333 is the Ennis to Kilkee service, which stops in the likes of Corofin, Kilnaboy, Lahinch, Ennistymon, Miltown Malbay and so on and at present leaves Ennis four times per day.
“The 336, meanwhile, is the route between Ennis and Doonbeg, taking in Kilrush, Lissycasey, Moyasta and so on and that is a six times per day service.
“I’ve been assured that the transition will mean that we will see both increase in terms of their frequency which is a huge step forward for rural transport in our county.
“While this is so very welcome, East Clare has been dealt something of a blow.
“The 345 Scariff-Limerick route will increase its frequency but now, the Saturday add-on service which took in Bodyke, Tulla, O’Callaghan’s Mills and Broadford has been scrapped.
“The NTA sets the timetable for bus services at present which are then operated by the likes of Bus Éireann and Local Link.
“They have overhauled this timetable at the expense of this much-utilised add-on service and I am now engaging directly with the Transport Minister, the NTA and Bus Éireann with a view to implementing a solution.
“I believe the transition to Local Link, as has happened in the west of the county, could provide the answer here.
“I’m also continuing to engage with the NTA and Bus Éireann about an enhanced bus service to serve the Meelick-Parteen-Ardnacrusha area which has huge population growth and needs strong transport links into Limerick City.”