Pensioners and children in protest to save bus services

PENSIONERS, mothers and children took to the streets of Cork yesterday in the first of a series of rolling protests to save under-threat bus services.

Almost 100 people blocked the main road in the Glen area of the city to demand Bus Éireann reverse its decision to cancel the number 12 bus service to Blackpool, Dublin Hill, The Glen and Dillon’s Cross. They staged another protest on the route at lunchtime.

A third protest will take place in Mayfield today over proposals to axe the number one orbital route which links Bishopstown to the northside.

Both services are due to cease from mid June under a massive Bus Éireann cost-cutting plan.

A delegation of local and Dáil politicians met Bus Éireann’s regional manager, Joe Fitzgerald, yesterday afternoon to discuss the situation.

But speaking afterwards, a company spokesman said difficult choices have to be made given a projected €30 million deficit, and a 10% falloff in passenger numbers.

“It will not be possible to make major cost savings on the Bus Éireann network without reducing services,” he said.

“Given this situation, we will have to adjust our network in line with demand in order to protect as many services and jobs as possible.

“These changes will be concentrated at the moment on the routes with low levels of customer support – often just two to three people on a service.”It is believed that several county services could also be cancelled.

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