Saturday 20 January 2018

Airport coach service operating illegal route

The department of transport has referred an airport coach operator to gardai because it says the company is illegally operating a route between Dalkey and Dublin Airport.

Officials say that the Patton Flyer service, owned by Curtis Coaches, does not hold a route licence and is therefore operating outside the law.

The provision of any public bus services on a specific route by a private bus operator is subject to the Road Transport Act, 1932.

But sources familiar with the legal situation have indicated a certain amount of sympathy for the operators because the 1932 act is seen as hopelessly inadequate to deal with modern day transport demands.

Wholesale reform of the 1932 act has been mooted for some time to make it easier to allow for competition on different bus routes.

A spokesman for the department of transport said: "When the department became aware that a company advertised as the Patton Flyer was operating unlicensed, scheduled bus passenger services between Dalkey and Dublin Airport, it immediately wrote to the company advising it that the operation of the service was in breach of section 7 of the Road Transport Act, 1932."

According to the department, the service providers are continuing to illegally operate thehourly route so the matter has been referred to gardai.

It is understood that another operator has already applied to the department to operate a similar route but has yet to receive permission from officials.

The operators of the Patton Flyer did not return calls last night seeking comment. Its buses travel from Dalkey to the airport via Blackrock and the Dublin Port Tunnel.

The service, which began just a few months ago, has proved popular with passengers and uses modern luxury coaches.

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