BUS Eireann is to re-introduce an extra service between Raheen and Castletroy in the morning in a bid to combat overcrowding and improve punctuality.
Spokesman for the company Andrew McLindon confirmed to the Limerick Leader that from this Thursday, the 07:55 service from Raheen to UL, serving the city centre would come back onto the timetable.
Since the state bus provider overhauled its Limerick City network three weeks ago, there have been a number of complaints, with commuters in Castletroy and Raheen reporting severe delays. This came following the merger of the 304 and 308 services into one service linking Castletroy and Raheen.
There is also a daytime service linking Shannon Banks and Raheen.
Bus Eireann also said it is to introduce an official bus stop on the Avonmore Road in Raheen, which is now served by a regular service.
Until now, passengers have said the bus stops on an ad-hoc basis, where people are gathered en-masse.
Raheen-based Fine Gael councillor Richard Butler described the changes to the timetable.
“They introduced a new bus route, but never consulted the County Council, or the local people on where the service should go, where the stops should go, and where they should not go. I was happy with the way it was previously, as were most people,” he said.
Tom Beckett, South Circular Road, believes Bus Eireann is now presiding over “a disaster waiting to happen.”
“The experience on the 304 route consists of a confused, and user hostile network, haphazard timetables, less frequent services, frequent missing out on runs, and new route numbers have led to confusion,” he wrote.
He said because of this, “many busses are now seriously overcrowded with passengers standing in the aisles from the front door all the way to the rear. This constitutes a grave public hazard and a serious threat to life.”
This newspaper received a number of telephone calls from the Raheen area.
Some are delighted as they have a new service for the first time, but others living in Meadow Bale, Meadow Lawn and other services have complained the service has been reduced.
“With the new service which comes down Avonmore Road, there is no bus stop. When I asked a driver where I should go in the morning, he said outside a house number he got. The next day another driver told me wherever people congregate,” the caller said.
Mr McLindon added that Bus Eireann is working with the council to find alternative locations for a bus stop, after their initial plans met with resistance from residents.