Complaints from unhappy bus passengers using the 133 service have become a regular sight on social media in recent months.
With Bus Eireann weathering the storm of reports from frustrated commuters, its acting CEO Ray Hernan met with Minister Simon Harris in October last year to discuss some of the issues raised by customers. At the time, Minister Harris included reduced capacity, buses not showing up, information availability and overall reliability among the problems facing commuters.
After 'a very productive meeting', Minister Harris was satisfied that Bus Eireann understood the importance of minimising disruption for service users in Co Wicklow.
'Bus Éireann have explained that the recent service disruptions are due to a significant decrease in driver availability,' said the Minister.
'When asked how this is being addressed, the company outlined that additional "support drivers" are in place to cover services should the rostered driver not arrive. In addition to this, they are using private hire coaches to ensure that as many services as possible are run. Although this is not ideal, it is welcome that providing services is the most important consideration in this situation.'
However, the Minister also mentioned Bus Eireann's plan to begin running a service from Wicklow to Bray so that the main 133 service could by-pass Bray's Main Street and avoid traffic congestion there. This proposal was to 'run in parallel with the current route and increase the capacity while reducing journey times', the Minister said.
Unfortunately, the new Wicklow to Bray route (which will be in place until the end of February) has led to further problems for frustrated passengers.