Monday 16 September 2019

Review of location of bus stops to be looked at in September

Cathy Lee

A discussion on the location of bus stops on Gorey's Main Street was held at the recent monthly meeting of the Gorey-Kilmuckridge Municipal District.

Cllr Diarmuid Devereux suggested that the bus stops be moved closer to the railway station, to create more of a transport hub and clear up traffic on the Main street, which Cllr Anthony Donohoe agreed with.

Cllr Malcolm Byrne pointed out that this had been looked at previously.

'As that part of the town is developing, it's closer to the motorway and is becoming more connected. Buses, taxies, trains could be connected there,' he said.

Neville Shaw pointed out that traffic can be slowed down on the Main Street when buses arrive opposite each other at the same time, but noted that important interaction is created between people coming off buses, with coffee shops and local people running errands, and Amanda Byrne agreed.

'Older people that are using the bus, they want to be left on the Main street not to have to walk up to get to their prescriptions. We can't talk about the buses without talking about the users, and those businesses there don't want their customer based removed,' she said.

Eddie Taaffe said that businesses need public transport close by on the Main street, and in his view, by far the largest problem with the bus stop locations is 'brainless people' parking in the bays.

'Calling people brainless is not a great engineering solution to the problem. There's a huge car park at the railway station that's underused and it takes less than eight minutes to walk up, the town is not that big,' Cllr Devereux responded.

Councillors heard that officials would speak to the National Transport Authority (NTA), and that the item would be returned to the agenda at the September meeting.

'On an interim basis, if we stagger the bus stops, it would help combat a number of problems. We could we look at it at least and see how quickly we can proceed on a trial basis. Going forward, it's as easy for the buses to come off the motorway, and not be travelling through town. A lot of people use the train and they walk to the train station,' said Cllr Byrne.

Cllr Pip Breen asked how far the bus stops would be staggered, and he was told that it could be looked at moving the southbound stop to the middle of the Main street.

'Are we going to consult with the businesses that are going to lose car parking spaces outside their shops if a bus stop is put there,' asked Cllr Donohoe.

'Public transport needs to be easily accessible, provided at the forefront of peoples' minds to encourage them to use it. When we report back, we will do a consultation with businesses, bus users and bus companies as well as consulting with the NTA. It's worth looking at a transport hub at the train station, but the car park there is controlled by Irish Rail. I wouldn't recommend moving the bus stops on to a side street,' said Eddie Taaffe.

Cllr Mary Farrell expressed concern over disabled access to buses generally, which started a discussion on the lack of space and width of footpaths on the Main Street for this type of access.

'We can put the infrastructure in place, but we can't control the services, only infrastructure,' said Cllr Byrne.

Gorey Guardian