‘We won’t take bus changes lying down’ say Chapelizod locals

by Rachel Darcy

Residents from Chapelizod and surrounding areas took to the streets in protest last weekend over plans to slash bus routes in the area under the new Bus Connects plan.

Currently, several different routes – the 25, 66, 66a, 67, 67a and 26 – run through Chapelizod village and environs every few minutes.

However, under the new Bus Connects plans, there will only be one bus, running every half an hour to an hour.

Cllr Daithi Doolan (SF) said that the new proposals don’t link local areas, but seem to be focused on getting everyone into the city instead.

He told Dublin Gazette: “There’s two senior citizen complexes around the Chapelizod area that people depend on buses to get to.

“People come from Ballyfermot and surrounding areas, and they’d have to get a bus into town and back out to get to these areas now.”

Cllr Doolan aided in organising a protest last weekend that attracted over 300 people, and saw several local businesses involved as well as families who will be impacted by the change.

He said: “We wanted to send a message to the NTA that the local area will not take these changes lying down. There are thousands of people living around Chapelizod; they need frequent buses.

“I can understand that the new plan might be directing people toward getting the Luas, and I’m a big fan of the Luas myself, but it’s not feasible for some people – there’s no Luas stop close to Chapelizod.”

Many people on social media have also criticised the plans to reduce services in Chapelizod, with several people remarking that a high percentage of people in the village rely on buses to get around.

Some have said bus stops will also be moved to the point that they could be walking for more than a kilometre to get to a stop.

Cllr Doolan advised that there is to be a consultation meeting with Bus Connects and NTA representatives in Ballyfermot on September 19, with a meeting held last night (Wednesday, August 29) for residents to present their complaints with the proposed service.

Several public meetings and consultations are taking place in regard to Bus Connects in the coming weeks. Plans for new routes are expected to be implemented by 2020.

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