Route will link west Wicklow to other parts of the county
TENDERS are being sought for a new Local Link bus service connecting Arklow to Sallins in County Kildare, which will also link areas in west Wicklow with villages and towns in the east and south of the county.
Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore has been holding discussions with the National Transport Authority (NTA) about the new Local Link route which will service Arklow, Avoca, Rathdrum, Glenealy, Rathnew, Wicklow town, Ashford, Roundwood, Laragh, Glendalough, Blessington and Hollywood in County Wicklow, along with Naas and Sallins in County Kildare.
Deputy Whitmore said: “This is really positive news and will make travelling between the east and the west of the county by public transport a possibility for residents and commuters. It will also mean that it will be easier to get between neighbouring towns and villages for shopping, work or school. This is a win-win situation for our local economy, our environment and tourism.
“It’s a particularly big deal for west Wicklow as the service goes from the west of the county to the east. West Wicklow has been left behind regarding public transport. They have a few limited services to Dublin, but even they aren’t reliable. Bus Éireann cancelled the route 132 on Monday, June 27th, without any warning, and it’s the only public transport service between Baltinglass and Dublin. That’s simply not good enough, especially when people are trying to get to work.
“This service will give people from west Wicklow the opportunity to get a bus to other towns or villages in the east of the county or in Kildare, but this should only be the start. We need to burst on so we see an explosion of public transport options in the county. Baltinglass is an area with obvious needs.”
The tenders are being sought to operate five services a day between Arklow and Sallins and four services a day between Sallins and Arklow.
"The service is currently the subject of a tender process at present with tender submissions due to be submitted at the end of this week. The NTA hope to launch the route in the next couple of months.
"I am really pleased to see this expansion of local link services across the county, as I believe that they are a very important part of our transport solutions. They are particularly important for our rural areas and smaller communities. I want to see a situation where each town and village in Wicklow is connected by a local link service and I will continue to raise the importance of this service with the Minister and the NTA,” added Deputy Whitmore.