Monday 21 January 2019

UK bus group Go-Ahead gets green light for depot

The Go-Ahead fleet of 125 vehicles will operate about 10pc of the current Dublin Bus routes
The Go-Ahead fleet of 125 vehicles will operate about 10pc of the current Dublin Bus routes
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Plans for a major new bus depot near Walkinstown in Dublin that will be used by UK firm Go-Ahead to operate bus routes on the outskirts of the capital have been given the all-clear by South Dublin County Council.

The depot, located at a former DHL distribution hub to the west of the city, will be used to house about 98 vehicles from the 125-strong bus fleet that will be operated by Go-Ahead. Last year, the firm won a contract to operate about 10pc of Dublin Bus routes in the outer metropolitan area.

Go-Ahead plans to start operating the 24 routes next November. It will be using a fleet of 40 single-decker buses and 85 double-deckers. It will employ 350 drivers and 90 office and maintenance staff.

The so-called Outer Dublin Metropolitan Area contact with the National Transport Authority (NTA) requires Go-Ahead to run buses on 23 existing routes and a new route between Citywest and UCD.

The 23 routes incorporate towns such as Balbriggan to the north of the capital, and Newtownmountkennedy, to the south, in Co Wicklow. That represents a driving distance of about 80km around the M50.

It's expected that 86 of the buses being used by Go-Ahead in Dublin will be departing from the new bus depot on the Lower Ballymount Road on a typical weekday, with others undergoing maintenance at any given time. Buses will leave as early as 5am and return as late as 1am.

A total of 27 of the Go-Ahead buses will be located at other points in the city, including Swords and Dún Laoghaire.

Go-Ahead intends to operate a staff-only bus service to bring staff to the depot for work.

As many as 90 jobs will be created at the depot itself, including administration, maintenance and management staff.

The NTA put the Dublin Bus routes out to tender in 2015, in a controversial move that resulted in six companies making the shortlist. That was ultimately whittled down to just two - Go-Ahead and Dublin Bus.

Go-Ahead is one of the largest transport groups in the Britain, handling a combined one billion annual passenger journeys across its bus and rail network.

Its bus services carry about two million passengers every day.

Irish Independent

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