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'Poorest in city affected' by Dublin bus route sale


David McGuinness

David McGuinness

David McGuinness

The poorest people of Dublin are the ones who will be worst affected by the privatisation of a range of routes operated by Dublin Bus, a west Dublin councillor has said.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has now advertised 23 Dublin Bus routes and five Bus Eireann routes that it is seeking bids on from private operators.

But Dublin West Fianna Fail Councillor David McGuinness has said the routes being focussed on are the ones that connect people to shops and the communities they came from, who rely on the buses as their main means of transport.

"These are not the most profitable routes for Dublin Bus, but the company has a social remit also and the people in west Dublin were adequately served in that regard," he told the Herald.

"But a private company looking at the route will see when and where it carries most people and when it doesn't and my fear is that services will be curtailed as a result," he added.

"Dublin Bus are cutting out the routes that provide a huge social dividend but may not fill its coffers, and it is only the public that will suffer.

"Bus routes have been drastically altered over recent years. Policy has led to more cross city routes and away from localised services. However, the last remnants of a localised bus service are being eroded before our eyes.

"The 236, 238 and 239 services is the local Blanchardstown service which brings commuters to Blanchardstown Shopping Centre via Dublin 15 schools and connects over 100,000 residents in Blanchardstown with Lucan at Liffey Valley, to Damastown Industrial Estate and to Local Authority housing estates," he added.

"Residents who use this service need it for work, for travelling to local services and many have no other means to travel around the suburb," he said.

"The 17A route replaces the former 220 route which connected Places like Ballymun and Finglas to Connolly Hospital and Blanchardstown Shopping Centre. While the 76a connects Blanchardstown to the south of the city to Tallaght," he explained.


"Blanchardstown, with a population of over 100,000, grew mainly from people settling from more rural parts of the country and through young families resettling from older suburbs such as Finglas, Ballymun and Ballyfermot."

Cllr McGuinness said the new proposals could reduce access for families who have links to these parts of the city, and jeopardise people's ability to visit Connolly Hospital at Blanchardstown.

The Dublin Bus routes that have been advertised carry in the region of nine million passengers a year. None of them go through the city centre and are used to created services around the outskirts of the capital.

The routes affected include the 17, 17a, 18, 33a, 33b, 45a, 59, 63, 75, 76, 102, 104, 111, 114, 161, 184, 185, 220, 236, 238, 239, 270.

A number of Bus Eireann routes could also be privatised.