“We need to see improvements in the next version of Bus Connects. I’ve lodged a comprehensive submission outlining my concerns around the proposed changes to our bus routes. I’m worried that the Bus Connects strategy short changes many commuters and public transport users across Clondalkin, Lucan, Newcastle, Rathcoole, Saggart, Brittas and Palmerstown,” explained Cllr. Emer Higgins.
“I held a series of three public meetings on the Bus Connects proposal and used them as an opportunity to gather feedback from over 200 people who attended and the many more who contacted me afterwards when I publicised the proposal in leaflets to over 20,000 homes. I’m pleased that we’re reviewing our bus services and with the proposals to create orbital bus routes linking our areas to places like Maynooth, Blanchardstown and Tallaght; but I don’t agree with many of the frequencies, capacities and routes being put forward. I don’t agree either with the removal of direct links to the city centre for many areas, and the exclusion and isolation of certain communities from public transport links,” said Cllr. Emer Higgins.
“In my view rural areas are short-changed by these proposals because they would have their direct link to town removed and no noticeable improvement in frequency. That’s not good enough. High population areas like Monastery and Woodford in Clondalkin, Hillcrest, Dodosboro and Weston in Lucan and Palmerstown, with a population of 10,000, are all under-served by these proposals,” continued Cllr. Emer Higgins.
“Connecting modes of transport is great in theory but it is not practical for all commuters to change buses, in particular those who are elderly, wheelchair users, pregnant, pushing buggies, school kids or parents and guardians minding small children. I think the National Transport Authority needs to be mindful of that as they draft the next iteration of this plan,” concluded Cllr. Emer Higgins