Tuesday 17 October 2017

It's snow trouble for private bus operators to run service

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

WEATHER, what weather? Many private bus operators rolled on regardless during the horrendous weather conditions over the past few days.

In one case, drivers at a Dublin company carried their own bags of salt and sand onboard which they then used to grit stops and some of the worst-affected junctions they encountered.

In contrast, icy conditions yesterday forced Bus Eireann to cancel its services between Limerick and Dublin while no buses were running in parts of Cork city.

Dublin Bus also curtailed its normal Sunday schedule in many parts of the city due to severe ice in many untreated housing estates and also at high levels.

However, the larger private operators, including Citylink, Aircoach and GoBus, said they were operating full services yesterday.

Trevor Patton, owner of the Patton Flyer which runs between Dalkey and Dublin Airport, told how his company continued to run buses even during the worst of the snow and ice.

And his drivers set out on their journeys with bags of salt and sand due to a lack of grit on the roads.

"We've been okay, the side roads have been bad, but we are running our service to schedule.

"There were around 10-minute delays on Saturday afternoon when it started getting very cold again but that was it," he added.

Among the worst areas he encountered were Dalkey, Glasthule and Sydney Parade. Dublin Bus cancelled some of its services in these areas over the weekend.

Gritting

In Glasthule, Mr Patton was helped clear the ice by local butcher Noel Kavanagh, who gave him extra salt when his supplies ran low.

"There was no gritting on the roads here. We carried our own bags of salt and sand to clear the stops and certain parts of the road," said Mr Patton.

"The Sydney Parade junction was really bad and around Glasthule and Dalkey.

"My phone never stopped ringing all New Year's Day and New Year's Eve with people wondering if we were still going because there were no taxis, no Dublin Bus, no Darts, nothing," he added.

Irish Independent

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