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Bus Éireann accused of passenger 'rip-off'

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Madeline Brady, Donna Farrell, Jane Farrell and Fiona Branagan from MB Rentals at the d hotel.

Madeline Brady, Donna Farrell, Jane Farrell and Fiona Branagan from MB Rentals at the d hotel.

Madeline Brady, Donna Farrell, Jane Farrell and Fiona Branagan from MB Rentals at the d hotel.

BUS Éireann were accused of a € 1,800 Dundalk-Belfast 'rip-off' after vast price differences emerged between bus services to Dublin and Belfast.

Louth TD Fergus O'Dowd claimed that passengers travelling between Dundalk and Belfast are being charged up to € 1,837.50 more per year than passengers between Dundalk and Dublin.

'The two cities are 52 miles from Dundalk but southern-bound passengers are paying 75% less than those going north,'' the Louth deputy claimed.

But Bus Eireann have hit back saying that Deputy O'Dowd is 'not comparing like with like - these are two completely different types of service.'

'The figures are stark: It costs € 1837.50 per annum more to travel with Bus Éireann from Dundalk to Belfast (€ 4,287.50) than from Dundalk to Dublin (€2,450), a difference of 75%.

'A weekly bus ticket from Dundalk to Belfast is € 87.50, but just € 50 to Dublin, a difference of € 37.50 (75%).'

'A daily return fare with Iarnród Éireann from Dublin to Newry costs € 16.70, some 43% more than the reverse journey,' Mr O'Dowd said.

He added: ' There is simply no justification for Bus Éireann to charge passengers 75% more to travel north over the border, rather than south, given that the journeys are identical.'

The Louth deputy also raised the price differential between cross-border rail journeys.

'A daily return fare with Iarnród Éireann from Dublin to Newry costs € 16.70, some 43% more than the reverse journey,' he added,

'CIE cites falling passenger numbers as one of the reasons for its current financial difficulties, but it is clear that its extortionate fares are driving customers away.'

'CIE passengers want more services, on more routes, and at a fair price. The company cannot do this.

'I have written to the National Consumer Agency about the fare discrepancies north and south of the border on Irish Rail services, and I will be raising the matter with the Minister for Transport.'

Mr O'Dowd claimed this will allow for 'better and more frequent services for bus passengers and will encourage more people from their car to the bus.'


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