DEPUTY Jennifer Whitmore has once again criticised the National Transport Authority (NTA) for its decision not to facilitate seasonal transport links to popular locations such as Brittas Bay.
The Social Democrats TD had previously called for the NTA to put in place a coastal local link serving East Wicklow towns and villages, but the NTA failed to provide funding, despite putting in place a similar service from Wexford to Curracloe beach.
During the recent heatwave, Gardaí had to issue over 100 penalty notices for illegal and obstructive parking at local hotspots, such as Brittas Bay, while the shuttle bus proved a great success in Curracloe, without any of the parking issues experienced in Wicklow.
Deputy Whitmore stated: “It’s a tale of two counties when you see how successful Wexford’s local link service to Curracloe was when meanwhile Brittas Bay experienced absolute chaos and hundreds of parking tickets issued to visitors over the weekend.
“There has to be questions as to why a busier beach that sees chaos every year there is good weather, why a Local Link service has not been prioritised and put into action. Residents have been raising safety issues for years, describing being locked into their homes and how emergency vehicles can’t get out to those in need.
“When you look an hour south, you can see how successful the local link to Curracloe is when the resources are there. No parking tickets were issued there over the weekend.”
Deputy Whitmore has repeatedly called on the NTA and the Minister for Transport to prioritise funding for a local link service to bring people north and south of Wicklow town to Wicklow’s popular beaching during the summer, and has also raised the matter in the Dáil.
She added: “This could even be done on a pilot basis, and then if successful, which I’ve no doubt it will be, it could be rolled out over the year to connect all towns and villages along the east coast.
“There is a huge lack of foresight in the current government when proposals like these, which are a no-brainer, are not taken seriously or progressed. It makes sense to put more of these type of seasonal bus routes in to reduce the number of cars in the area, improve the local environment and to fundamentally improve the quality of lives of the residents in the local area.”