Sinn Fein has met with Bus Éireann management in recent days to discuss the ongoing and frequent disruptions and cancellations to Route 30/X from Donegal to Dublin.
Both Deputy Pearse Doherty Doherty and Councillor Noel Jordan had been raising concerns in relation to the number of cancellations on this route.
They they now have welcomed the news that Bus Éireann have acknowledged the issue and are implementing measures to alleviate the problem.
Speaking after the meeting, Deputy Doherty said “From the questions we raised with the Minister for Transport in the Dáil, it was confirmed that this route was cancelled 109 times in 2020, and 74 times up to September / October of 2021, with a number of further cancellations in November and December. These cancellations have been frequent and often last-minute, leaving Donegal passengers stranded.
“It was clear that there was an issue on this route in terms of vehicle reliability and availability, as well as driver availability.
“I was glad to receive confirmation from Bus Éireann management that an additional three buses have been allocated to the Donegal fleet and will be based at the Stranorlar depot for use on the Route 30/X where needed. This should help to alleviate any issue with vehicle reliability and availability.
“We also asked Bus Éireann to consider employing additional relief drivers, or where unexpected unavailability arises, to consider a temporary agreement with a local operator as an emergency measure to avoid having to cancel a service in such circumstances. Bus Éireann management informed us that plans are underway to do this.
Cllr Jordan added that the people of South Donegal, and indeed other counties along the route, depend on this service.
He said “These bus routes provide a vital link between the many parts of rural Donegal and Dublin. The cancellations on this route have caused major disruptions with people missing flights, hospital appointments and other engagements as a result.
“Many passengers have informed me that the cancellations are often last minute and that the Bus Éireann website was not updated to reflect this, with many of the cancellations happening on very early morning routes.
“I was glad to hear that Bus Éireann are aware that the cancellations were not posted on the website and that they have committed to reviewing this process too.
“I am to meet again with Bus Éireann management when they visit Donegal in the coming months and will be requesting an update in relation to Route 30/X.”