Deputy Martin Kenny
Sinn Féin spokesman for agriculture and TD for Sligo, Leitrim, West Cavan and South Donegal, said he is dismayed at the proposals contained in the Grant Thornton consultants’ report to axe the national Expressway Intercity bus service.
Deputy Kenny said, “It is the government’s aim to privatise any service or facility that it can with little or no regard for its citizens. It was the Department of Transport and the National Transport Authority that caused Bus Eireann’s financial crisis by flooding the market with licences to private operators who cherry-pick the most profitable routes leaving the least profitable ones to the public network.
“Public transport is a public service which must be maintained in rural areas. It is not about profit-making, it is about providing a service to citizens and not forcing people to become motorists or to depend on motorists to go about their daily lives.
“According to Grant Thornton 516 jobs will be lost if the government implements its recommendations. I urge Minister Ross to engage with stakeholders and to find alternatives to this rampant privatisation and cuts to public service as proposed. He should act immediately to find an alternative and meet with Bus Eireann and its workers’ representatives in the trade union movement and listen to their proposals to save our Expressway Service.”
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