27 March 2018
By Elaine Murphy
Cork based Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard has criticised the outrageous expense of the West Cork bus services and the huge pricing difference compared to other regions.
Senator Lombard stated: “I have been examining bus fares over recent weeks and discovered that there are major anomalies in the pricing structure of Bus Eireann services, whereby West Cork bus users are charged excessive rates in comparison to almost anywhere else in the country.
“A monthly TaxSaver ticket for Kinsale to Cork city, for example, costs €232.50, whilst a Carlow to Dublin ticket only costs €206. Carlow-Dublin commuters are travelling at least 96km one way, and yet they are charged significantly less than Kinsale-Cork commuters who aren’t even travelling a third of that distance.
“Even within Cork itself; a return commute from Cork city to Carrigaline would cost the patron less than €4, but travel less than twice that distance to Bandon and the charge is €17.50.
“It is ridiculous, West Cork bus prices are a joke.”
“Additionally, there is no real way for regular West Cork bus users to reduce their travel costs. The only annual or monthly ticket available in West Cork is for the Kinsale to Cork city service, which, as previously mentioned, is still incredibly expensive. What about bus users in Bandon? Or Bantry? Skibbereen, Clonakilty, Dunmanway… The list goes on.
“There are many West Cork residents who rely on our public transport system, but the current prices are making it completely unaffordable.”
Senator Lombard also highlighted the large investment made in our public transport systems over recent times but asserted that it was difficult to encourage and promote the use of public transportation when it is too expensive for regular users.
“It is a serious problem that owning, and financially maintaining, a vehicle is more cost-effective than using public transport. I have been liaising with Bus Eireann, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, and the National Transport Authority, demanding a review of the current pricing structure of the bus services in West Cork. We must make our public services accessible, and I intend to see prices reduced.”