Joe O’Brien has said that the public transport needs of rural Fingal are being ignored by Bus Eireann and the National Transport Authority.
The Bus Eireann 102 service was controversially cut in 2010 and despite assurances at the time, no service has been put in place by Bus Eireann to meet the needs of Garristown and other rural villages in Fingal.
Mr. O’Brien stated that ‘Garristown and its immediate hinterland have a population of over 1000 people and there is a clear public transport need that is not being met. Earlier this year I made a proposal to Bus Eireann to divert a number of the 103 services via Garristown which would have meant that the town would have a direct connection with Dublin with minimal disruption to current services and very little cost seeing as it did not involve any extra buses. Bus Eireann actually accepted this idea and in May I organised a public meeting in Garristown which was very well attended and following that I conducted a survey among the community to see how many people wanted the service and at what times. We had over 200 people participating in the survey. So at this stage the size of the need has been made very clear while also at the same time we have made it as easy as possible for the NTA and Bus Eireann to make this a reality. Bus Eireann actually conducted a test run in the spring after their initial agreement to run the service and this test run showed that the route was viable bar a few trees that needed trimming and one wire that needed to be raised. Fingal County Council have offered their co-operation in getting this service for Garristown but sadly Bus Eireann and the NTA are not following suit yet.
The 103 is an excellent service which connects Ashbourne with Dublin and all we are asking is for a small number of these to include Garristown in its route. It would not adversely impact upon other commuters and it would be a huge asset to the now sizeable and growing village of Garristown. We will simply have to keep fighting for this service and hopefully they will eventually accept that this is a need that must be met and will follow through on their initial agreement. It is important to note as well that the extra resources involved – if any – would be minimal’.