Mass protest over city bus routes cancellation

A MASS protest is due to take place in Cork next week over proposed cuts to the city’s bus service which has become a major local election issue.

Residents on the northside of the city took to the streets twice last Friday and again on Saturday to fight Bus Éireann plans to axe the number 12 route which serves the Glen area, and the northern orbital route, which links the northside to Bishopstown.

The issue was raised at a council meeting on Monday during which several councillors called on Bus Éireann to reverse the decisions.

“The orbital bus must be maintained at all costs,” Fianna Fáil’s Tony Fitzgerald said.

“It is a vital service in terms of social, medical, training and the educational needs of the people of the northside.

“Over 10 years ago the need to implement this route was campaigned for by numerous community activists, clergy and state agencies on the northside, with a specific view of young people accessing third level education at UCC, CIT, and the Fás Training Centre.

“We began this service by transporting young people each morning in the Garda community bus out to UCC and CIT and the response was tremendous.”

Party colleague Damien Wallace, who was among a group of local politicians to meet Bus Éireann management last Friday, said the signals from the company are not good.

But he said the company should look at the decision again, “on social grounds alone”.

Cllr Tom O’Driscoll (FF) said the company should review its routes, some of which are 50 years old, to ensure the bus service is attractive and reliable.

Fine Gael’s Dino Cregan said he has seen little or no change in the bus company over the last 30 years.

“And it won’t change in the next 30 years either. All they want to do is cover their own backside. They are not really interested in Cork city at all,” he said.

Socialist Party councillor Mick Barry called on the public to take to the streets again.

He urged people to gather outside City Hall at noon on Thursday, May 28 to march on Bus Éireann’s Capwell depot.

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