Clare’s Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe is calling on the National Transport Authority (NTA) to provide clarity on the future of Clare Bus services.
Since late March, a new operator has overseen the routes after the responsibility was removed from Clare Accessible Transport, over a contractual dispute.
Now, the cost of running the service has risen by 27% as a result, while just two of the seven buses are fully accessible and Clare Bus management say they’re being left out of pocket by €117,000 in arrears.
“Clare Bus workers are currently being kept in pocket by the government’s COVID-19 emergency payment but once that dries up, there is huge concern that it’s the end of the road for their company, their jobs and the Clare Bus service as we know it,” said Deputy Crowe.
“I have requested a teleconference meeting between myself, the NTA and Clare Accessible Transport, to seek some clarity on the plans for the future of this vital service.
“I have been told that because there is no contractual relationship between Clare Bus, it would be ‘inappropriate’ for such a meeting to take place.
“This quite simply is not good enough. Clare Bus has provided an essential service for this county for many years and already, we’ve seen a serious decline. The NTA needs to buck up and take responsibility on this matter immediately.”