Certain public transport routes in rural Ireland need to be increased in order to accommodate passengers, according to independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

Given the restrictions that are in place at the moment due to Covid-19, buses are only able to carry a fraction of the passengers that they normally would in order for social distancing guidelines to be followed.

Speaking on the matter, Fitzmaurice said: “While people must continue to follow social distancing guidelines, public transport providers such as Bus Eireann must run additional services on particular routes to accommodate demand.

“A lot of people depend on public transport to get to work, to attend medical appointments or for other essential travel as they have might not have direct access to a car.

“Speaking to constituents in recent days, I have been made aware of incidents where some passengers have been left on the side of the road as the bus that had arrived had already reached capacity.

“In one instance, two constituents had pre-booked and pre-paid for their tickets online the day before they were due to travel.

“However, when it came to boarding the bus, they were refused entry as it had already reached capacity. They were then faced with the option of waiting a prolonged period for the next bus – with no guarantee that seats would be available for them then – or make alternative travel arrangements at short notice.

“This is unacceptable given that they had pre-booked their tickets for the given route and time. If a service is running, it must be reliable and dependable.

“People cannot afford to miss out on essential appointments due to an issue like this,” Fitzmaurice concluded.

Michael Fitzmaurice 086-1914565

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