BusConnect delays and cancellations causing serious disruption

by Rose Barrett
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Independent Cllr Noeleen Reilly has raised the ‘significant’ issues of BusConnect services in Finglas and across Dublin at a council meeting last week. 

As Chair of the Traffic and Transport Special Policy Committee, Cllr Reilly filed a motion calling for a special meeting with all stakeholders involved in bus services in Dublin. 

“You would have to live under a rock to not realise there is a significant issue going on with our buses at present. Every bus route in Dublin is affected with delays, or no shows,” claimed Cllr Reilly. 

“At last week’s meeting of DCC’s Traffic and Transports SPC, councillors supported my motion calling for the Minister for Transport along with NTA, Dublin Bus and Go-Ahead to come before the committee and provide us with information on how this mess with our buses is going to be addressed!” she said. 

“We have a situation where people are getting warnings in work and children are given detention at school for being late, through no fault of their own. It is highly unacceptable. 

“We are trying to encourage people to leave the cars at home and use the buses but how can passengers have any confidence in the bus service at present.” 

She continued: “All of the routes in my area of Ballymun and Finglas are affected and to top it all off, the NTA is continuing to roll out the Bus Connects Programme in Finglas adding additional pressures on the system.” 

However, a spokesperson for the NTA stated “BusConnects Dublin is a programme of integrated actions which, together, is delivering a bus system that will enable more people to travel by bus than ever before, and allow bus commuting to become a viable and attractive choice for employees, students, shoppers and visitors. 

“The individual projects that make up BusConnects Dublin are at different stages of delivery. The NTA has implemented four of the 11 phases of the new BusConnects Dublin network in partnership with Dublin Bus and GoAhead. 

“The increased frequency and spine network have resulted in growth in passenger journeys along those spines: 22 per cent on the H-spine; 11per cent on the C-spine and we continue to see a very good response to improved frequency of services wherever they are introduced.” 

However, Cllr Reilly responded: “Now is not the time to continue with Bus Connects. The NTA need to take a step back and stabilise current routes before adding any more.” 

Cllr Reilly added: “It feels the Department of Transport and the NTA are not listening to people on the ground. I rely on buses myself as I do not drive. There is nothing more frustrating than standing in the cold or rain – and no bus shows up.” 

The NTA stated that as we emerged from Covid, and passenger numbers increased, operators were faced with trying to recruit and retain drivers at a time of full time employment. This led to a higher-than-normal frequency of bus cancellations. 

“The NTA has apologised to those customers as the service has not been at the standard we would like to provide. Both operators and the NTA have taken a number of steps to seek to address the current shortage of drivers and are now seeing much improved services delivered with fewer cancellations. 

“The impact of congestion on punctuality has intensified in recent weeks and this can result in curtailments or cancellation of services. On the busiest bus routes, buses are competing for space with general traffic. The only solution is to reduce the number of cars on the road and move as quickly as the planning process allows to deliver the Core Bus Corridor projects as part of BusConnects.”

Featured Image: Independent councillor, Noeleen Reilly, slams the constant delays and cancellations facing a number of bus routes Image: Noeleen Reilly

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