FERMANAGH people could be in for major disruption post-Brexit, with fears now growing for the future of cross-border bus travel, including the busy number 30 Dublin route.
Bus Eireann has told the Herald any hardening of the border as a result of Brexit could mean a delay in services which would force them to “review” their timetables. This comes after the head of Translink, Chris Conway, told a Westminster committee last Friday the company did not know how its cross-border routes could operate if there was a “no deal” Brexit.
The issue for Translink is the Interbus Agreement, which allows bus travel between the UK and the EU. If there is no deal there is no agreement. For Bus Eireann, the issue would be any potential border checks.
The southern company has said it is working with the Department of Transport in the UK and had provided a list of services that could be impacted by the return of a hard border. This list includes the number 30 from Donegal to Dublin, via Enniskillen.
The company said they had “no plans to cancel any of our cross-border routes,” but added the company was “closely monitoring the situation and considering all options at present.”
“We would have to review all cross-border timetables if regular border checks came to pass,” said a Bus Eireann spokesman. “However, the issue is still at a “scoping out” phase and more work may be required, depending on what emerges from the EU Brexit talks.”
Monaghan county councillor Pat Treanor said any disruption to the Enniskillen-Clones Translink bus would have a psychological impact on locals in his native town, as well as a practical one.
“A lot of students depend on it to get to college in Enniskillen, it’s used by people going shopping, and to visit family members,” he said. “You regularly see people waiting at the stop for the bus to come through.”
Other routes that could be affected include the twice daily route to Sligo and Ballina as well as local routes to Pettigo and Swanlinbar.
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Posted: 1:41 pm November 7, 2018