Fears grow for future of Dublin bus connection

LOCAL fears have emerged after stringent cuts to Bus Eireann services have fuelled fears that the popular service from Enniskillen to Dublin, which runs severals times daily, could be reduced or even scrapped.
The concern for the 30 services comes after Bus Eireann axed a number of key routes between the capital and Cork, Limerick and Galway and also plans to suspend its service between Dublin and Belfast due to the impact of Covid-19.
It has been reported that Stormont’s infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon is “concerned” by the development despite Translink’s commitment to operating the Belfast to Dublin route.
While Translink vowed to work with transport officials on both sides of the border to ensure a continuity of services, concerns remain rife in border areas such as Fermanagh with the Dublin to Donegal route proving to be a popular option for local students travelling for work and college.
The news fuels previous fears for Fermanagh folk over the scaling back of public transport that was announced back in March and approved by Stormont.
For a number of years now public transport provider Translink has warned of mounting debts and a reduced budget.
Officials at the DFI previously revealed to the Herald that the local Translink service was now “in jeopardy” if it did not receive a vital funding injection which prompted fears to cuts of rural routes, such as those that service Fermanagh villages.
These routes are accepted as being unprofitable, with the busier routes such as Enniskillen to Belfast covering their costs, however with extreme savings needed for Translink to continue, cuts to these smaller services have not been ruled out.
Previously speaking to the Herald about this ongoing issue, Cllr Thomas O’Reilly said, “As a transport provider you have to provide a reliable and regular service so people can be dependent on it and leave the car.
“It isn’t a quick fix. This must be a reliable, long-term service that has to provide for people on a number of fronts.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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