Town centre traffic congestion has forced Wexford Bus to reroute their Bus Connect service, which services the Clonard, Wexford town and Drinagh areas.
Managing Director of Wexford Bus, Brendan Crowley explained that town centre traffic was the main factor in the company's decision to change up their routes, saying that congestion 'completely kills the service', meaning they could not guarantee a reliable schedule for their large customer base.
'I know the council has talked about a major overhaul in town traffic; they really have to do something. The town can be crazy from midday until the evening. There is too much traffic coming off side streets and car parks, onto the quay, trying to get across the bridge - it's ludicrous the amount of traffic trying to access it.'
Mr Crowley explained that, previously, the two buses did very similar routes but, invariably, ended up catching up on each other due to the traffic. The revised Drinagh and Clonard routes, he said, will result in a higher proportion of the town having access to the bus, and it is expected to bring a great level of reliability to the service.
He said: 'A lot of people use the bus but we just couldn't offer a quality service in the evenings and we had to do something. The local authority didn't want us to use the top of the town, along School Street, so we have basically split the service. Someone travelling from Drinagh to Clonard will now be home in ten minutes whereas before it could have taken 40.'
The frequency of services between Redmond Square and Clonard will increase from two per hour to three per hour.
Mr Crowley pointed out that the Drinagh service will travel south along the quay, which generally runs quicker than north-travelling traffic, while the Clonard service will still proceed north along the quay.
The Clonard service, he said, was the one they would expect some delays from, but said that it was something they could not control.
Mr Crowley stressed that the journey times would remain the same but there would be some grace time between services re-starting in order to get them running on time again if there had been delays.
'It's all about making the service more reliable,' he remarked.
Breaking it down, the services will run as follows:
The WX1 Drinagh Loop will start in Redmond Square and will travel to Drinagh Retail Park via the Quay, William Street and the Rosslare Road. The bus will then journey back to Redmond Square via Whiterock, Richmond Drive, the Loreto, Clonard Village, Clonard Road, Coolcotts and Newtown Road.
The WX2 Clonard Loop will start in Redmond Square and will travel towards Clonard Retail Park serving the Newtown Road, Coolcotts and Clonard Road on its way. The bus will then journey back to Redmond Square via Whitemill Road, Summerhill, Distillery Road, the Faythe, and the Quay.
The routes and schedules have been refined with workers, school goers and shoppers in mind, with the new routes servicing the new Loreto, the Presentation Secondary School, the CBS, St Peter's College and the Wexford Campus of Carlow IT.
Mr Crowley added that they were constantly looking for ways to expand the service and said they were currently reviewing services in Castlebridge/Crossabeg, Upper Newtown Road and the Heritage Park areas.