COST-CUTTING plans by Bus Eireann look set to be a mixed blessing for Fermanagh people travelling to Dublin.
The Fermanagh Herald has learned that in the coming weeks, the Number 30 express service from Donegal to Dublin will be extended from nine services each way daily to 13.
However, every second departure will be an express service omitting key stops including Belleek, Bellanaleck, Derrylin and Belturbet and only stopping at Enniskillen and Cavan. While this will obviously improve journey times, it will also isolate some rural communities if their stops are cut back.
As part of a massive cost-cutting programme, Bus Eireann has either axed or at least reduced their Expressway services, which link towns and cities across Ireland to Dublin. Currently the Number 30 runs nine times a day to Dublin via Enniskillen from 1am until 7pm and to Donegal from 7.30am until 12 midnight.
The service is particularly popular with locals travelling to Dublin Airport, as the service drops passengers off outside departures, and picks returning travellers right outside the arrival gate.
Derrylin is a popular pick up point on the route and a local resident told the Herald this week that a reduction in services would be detrimental to the community: “Most people avail of the bus service for the airport rather than to the city. You always see a lot of people waiting at the Derrylin stop. It’s extremely convenient as currently it’s every two hours and people don’t have to worry about parking and toll fees. Any reduction in service or frequency would deprive people of a vital rural service.”
Erne West Cllr Alex Baird has expressed concern at any threat to the route: “It doesn’t make sense to cut out stops at Bellanaleck and Derrylin as these cause minimal disruption since they don’t deviate from the main arterial route.
“I still don’t understand why the service currently goes off-route into Belturbet when they have built a by-pass. They could easily pick people up on the new road as it wastes time. Having travelled on the bus many times myself, Belturbet is where delays occur as it can add ten minutes onto the journey.”
Bus Eireann spokesman Nicola Cooke said this week: “Expressway Route 30 is a commercial service that receives no State funding. Details relating to this business, and operation of its routes, are commercially sensitive. The company is only starting to recover, after significant losses last year.”
Posted: 7:00 pm January 26, 2018