Wicklow Sinn Féin public representatives have said that the new BusConnects proposals from the National Transport Authority are a mixed bag containing some positives, some missed opportunities and some retrograde proposals.
Speaking about the BusConnects proposals Teachta John Brady said “The long awaited BusConnects proposals are a real mixed bag for users of public transport from Wicklow. There are some proposals that Sinn Féin representatives have been pushing for included in the plan, such as linking Newtownmountkennedy and Kilcoole and extended a route from Wicklow to link in with the LUAS in Cherrywood. There are also proposals for a local loop service for Greystones.”
Bray Sinn Féin councillor elect Dermot ‘Daisy’ O’Brien said “When we look at BusConnect and its proposals we see two key elements worth our consideration. 1. Our local infrastructure. 2. Our journeys into and out of Bray.”
“It should be fair to assume that the aim of the BusConnect plans are to improve things for all passengers, so that should be our criteria when we look at the proposals that impact on Bray. Unfortunately the plan at this stage looks like both a missed opportunity and bad news for Bray. My colleague John Brady TD has long sought the establishment of a Bray loop service. Whilst not included in the initial proposals I believe there still is an opportunity to consider a local loop service for Bray, this would link key areas like the Seafront, Southerncross and Little Bray to Bray Town centre. The loop service could also include running a service back into the Fassaroe area, reinstating a route that was cut a number of years ago.
In the current plan put forward by the National Transport Authority we would also see a bus service to Palermo being cut, this is currently provided by the 185. A new loop service could incorporate the Palermo area but the idea of leaving Palermo or Fassaroe without any service does not represent an improvement for passengers whatsoever. All aspects of our community benefit from the easy movement of people within our town whether it is for school, work, shopping, leisure or to access services. It is my intention to hold a public meeting on this BusConnect proposal in the coming weeks and I hope people will come along and share their own views, ideas, insights on how Bray can get the best out of the future plans for Bus provision. The ambition of the plan must match the needs of people who use the services. "
Wicklow East Sinn Féin representative Muireann Dalton said “Recently I submitted a petition to Dublin Bus calling for a service to be extended to link Newtownmountkennedy to Kilcoole. I’m delighted that my proposals have been included in the BusConnects proposal. Newtown is the fastest growing town in the State and it’s essential that there are adequate public transport links.”
Greystones Sinn Féin councillor Nicola Lawless stated “The proposed local loop of Greystones service is to be welcomed, I do think there is scope however to have the route expanded to cover Delgany and the Blacklion Manor Road where many local students attend schools. We should also be looking at the use of single decker buses; these would be more suitable for this type of service.”
Teachta Brady concluded “A process of public consultation on the BusConnects report will formally commence on Monday 16th July and continue until Friday 14th September. I encourage members of the public to inspect the proposals on www.busconnects.ie. Sinn Fein will be holding a public meeting on our proposals in the coming weeks and to ensure that all the concerns of the public are taken on-board during the consultation process.”