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Misery for passengers as entire city network grinds to a halt

COMMUTERS faced a second day of transport misery in Cork as the only bus services operating were long-haul private contractors.

Private coaches from Cork to Dublin city centre and airport as well as a shuttle service from the city centre to the Black Ash park-and-ride facility were the only bus routes operating for a second day.

It left shoppers, workers and tourists entirely dependent on taxis, hackneys and Cork's limited urban rail routes from Cobh, Midleton and Mallow to Cork.

"I had to walk almost from Bishopstown to the city," French woman Samantha Grison told the Irish Independent. "It was very inconvenient. I just hope it all ends soon."

For pensioners, the loss of the entire city bus network was a particularly cruel blow.

"I'd normally catch the bus to the city from Mayfield to do a bit of shopping or meet up with friends. My daughter had to drop me in today and I'll have to get a taxi back out," Mary Murphy said.

Also hard hit were students who travel into the city daily to attend University College Cork (UCC) and the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT).

"I travel 20 miles into Cork each day to go to college. But I'll have to stay with friends and use a bike until this whole thing is sorted out.

"You never realise how much you depend on the buses until they aren't running," Steve Sinclair said.

National Bus and Rail Union official John Moloney said that workers couldn't sustain further cuts and he warned the firm against attempted strike-breaking.

Pickets were placed on a GoBe service from Cork-Dublin yesterday, forcing passengers to dismount from one coach.

However, taxi and hackney operators reported bumper trade.

Many operators were using a shared cab system to destinations like Wilton, Douglas, Mayfield, Knocknaheeny, Blackpool and Glanmire to assist stranded commuters.

Irish Independent