Bray West Labour Party Representative Ian McGahon has written to Wicklow’s five TDs about the ‘absolutely appalling shambles of a service’ provided by Go Ahead on North Wicklow bus routes, following news that the company was fined €640,000 on top of the recent €526,000, and was reportedly subjected to a cyber attack.
Mr McGahon is looking for intervention on the matter by the five TDs who are also all members of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport.
Mr McGahon said: "Go Ahead’s service in the outer Dublin region over the last four years has been appalling, but has recently gotten so bad that commuters are beginning to abandon using their service altogether.”
Ian McGahon drew attention to Go Ahead’s deductions or fines for late or cancelled buses as follows: 2019 – €151,000, 2020 – €70,000, 2021 – €317,000. For the second three months of 2022 they are being deducted €640,000.
“This is a staggeringly huge jump and shows the absolutely appalling shambles of a service from Go Ahead Ireland on the 45a, 184, 185 routes, along with other routes. It also appears Go Ahead Ireland may have had a policy up until recently of cancelling buses as an alternative to running them late.”
Mr McGahon continued: "Here in North Wicklow time and time again Go Ahead are cancelling last night bus services, cancelling three bus services in a row and last minute no shows. The simple fact is commuters have no faith or confidence in Go Ahead Ireland bus service.
“Additionally, when I wrote to the National Transport Authority recently about Go Ahead’s poor service in North Wicklow the Authority informed me that Go Ahead internationally were subjected to a cyber attack in early September and that Go Ahead Ireland’s services were affected.
"This information was released into the UK public domain in early September. It raises major political questions here that the Oireachtas committee on transport need to look into.”
McGahon wants a series of questions about Go Ahead answered by the National Transport Authority, including ‘did Go Ahead have a policy of cancelling buses that might run late?’, ‘do the NTA/GAI contract terms incentivise this practice?’ and ‘the NTA contract (ODMA) with Go Ahead Ireland can be extended in October 2022, what are the NTA going to do?’.
Ian McGahon concluded: “The travelling public are incredibly incredibly angry at this extremely poor bus service situation too. Schoolchildren and workers have been reporting warnings for being continuously late. Parents are reporting having to fork out taxis. The NTA might fine Go Ahead Ireland huge amounts but who compensates the travelling public for these huge inconveniences.”