There is good news for the town of Ballinamore and West Cavan as a local transport operator is to provide a daily service to Cavan, starting next month.
There was outrage in October this year when Bus Eireann cut it’s main Donegal to Dublin route, connecting West Cavan towns to the main county town daily.
Despite protest, representation and many meetings on the issue Bus Eireann refused to roll back on the decision, so local provider Leydons Coaches, Swanlinbar will take up the baton.
The local coach company officially received licensing approval last Friday, November 16 from the National Transport Authority (NTA), and they intend to provide a three times daily service from Swanlinbar to Cavan, seven days a week starting from December 10.
The new route will not only provide a necessary link for border towns Swanlinbar, Bawnboy and Ballyconnell to Cavan but the service will even take in Ballinamore. A campaign has been ongoing in Ballinamore for years to link into a major town for a service to Dublin.
Speaking to the Leitrim Observer Michael Leydon from the bus company said they had met with representations from Ballinamore who wanted a service in the town. Mr Leydons believes the numbers are there for the service but said “We won’t know till we try.”
They plan to pick up in Ballinamore after Swanlinbar at 7.30am and return each day after 4pm. The service is expected to run to Cavan General Hospital which will be beneficial for those visiting patients or attending appointments as well as connecting with the main bus station in Cavan Town. More exact details on the routes and times will be available closer to the date.
Michael Leydon said they have a request in with the management committee of Cavan General Hospital and the HSE in the hope of entering hospital grounds for picks ups and stop offs. They also have an application for an International Bus Licence to bring their service across the border to Enniskillen.
Michael Leydon said they will be delighted to provide this service, following the publicised dismay of the public bus cut. The company have an application with the Department of Social Welfare to accept bus passes, but they said anyone with a bus pass will pay “a maximum of €5 from Ballinamore to Cavan.”
Ballinamore’s Padraig Griffin who has been part of a campaign to get a bus service to the town that links up with Dublin services welcomed the new development by Leydon’s Coaches. He said he hopes they will be given a Public Service Obligation status so people with bus passes can use the service for free. Mr Leydon said the people of Ballinamore will be happy that the bus will service the town daily and he hopes that the company are successful. Mr Griffin said he will also welcome any other service provider to stop in the town.