WITH more than 30 services to or from Wexford having been cancelled on short notice in July so far, frustration is beginning to mount with Bus Éireann.
In recent weeks, there’s been several reports of commuters left stranded in Dublin, holidaymakers notified at the last minute that their transport to the airport has been cancelled and people left standing at bus stops in Rosslare and Wexford town for buses that will never arrive.
Explaining the disruptions on Route 2 between Wexford and Dublin Airport two weeks ago, Bus Éireann said: “We apologise to customers for the inconvenience caused. We have a higher number of Covid-19 cases among Waterford-based employees currently, and these unavoidable absences impacted some Wexford routes. We are actively working on solutions to improve service delivery this week.”
However, it appears that these “solutions” have not been forthcoming and cancellations have continued with regularity. On one occasion, a 6 a.m. bus from the airport was cancelled, but notification was only posted on social media at 11.57 a.m., nearly six hours after the bus was due to depart. Similarly, notification of services from Rosslare being cancelled were posted just two minutes ahead of scheduled departure.
Independent TD Verona Murphy has said that the constant cancellations show a “disrespect” towards passengers. Putting the number of cancellations for Wexford at 38 since July 9, she said:
"The sheer volume of cancellations and providing such late notice of same, shows blatant disregard for customers on behalf of Bus Éireann, and also brings into question the effectiveness of their contingency planning.
“The pump price of fuel is at an all-time high, and the government are planning to continue making it more expensive to encourage people to avail of public transport. These recent cancellations show that public transport in County Wexford is unreliable and that government policy should be focused on getting this right before trying to tax motorists off the road.”
Deputy Murphy also pointed out the low levels of service on the train line to the capital.
“There are 4 trains per day from Wexford town to Dublin and 5 trains per day from Dublin to Wexford town,” she said. “On weekdays, no trains arrive in Wexford town from Dublin until the afternoon, while journey times on the section of the Rosslare line from Wicklow to Dublin are slower in some cases than they were in the year 1894. This does not encourage people to switch to public transport either.”
Concluding the Deputy added “If the government want people to leave the car at home and avail of public transport, then they must ensure that the public service is regular and reliable. The high volumes of recent cancellations does nothing to instil customer confidence in Bus Éireann. I have written to the CEO aswell as the Minister for Transport on the issue and await their response.”