Bus Eireann agrees to drive changes on contentious route in Limerick

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

Bus Eireann agrees to drive changes on contentious route in Limerick

Brendan MacGabhann carried out a comprehensive study of the 304 route last month  PICTURE: ADRIAN BUTLER

BUS Eireann’s top brass have agreed to drive changes which could save city commuters more than ten minutes at peak times.

That’s according to Green party local election candidate Breandán MacGabhann, who held meetings with management at the transport firm at its Roxboro depot.

It comes after he carried out a comprehensive study on the delay-ridden 304 bus service, which links Raheen, Dooradoyle, Castletroy and UL to the city centre.

His study ultimately concluded that services on this corridor would only run to time if no passengers at all were carried.

On foot of his study, he was asked to meet with Bláithín McElligott, and other senior figures within Bus Eireann.

And he says they have taken on board a suggestion from him that upon arrival in the city from Castletroy at Roches Street, the service does not loop around Henry Street and Sarsfield Street – instead going straight into O’Connell Street and onwards to Raheen.

“As I understand it, it’s likely they are going to follow what I suggested and have the bus turn left from Roches Street onto O’Connell Street, rather than looping around Henry Street and Sarsfield Street. I think it would reduce times by around ten minutes – it could be even more at peak times. The bus can get stuck for quite a bit of time going around that loop. You’re quicker to walk from Roches Street to Debenhams in that time really,” said Mr MacGabhann, who is also a qualified geographer.

He has welcomed the move Bus Eireann bosses look set to make, adding: “They definitely didn’t agree with most of what I had written [in the study].”

However, it appears the semi-state firm is not for moving on a circuitous route which takes passengers through the back roads and estates of Raheen – twice.

Mr MacGabhann believes this only needs to be done once.

But, he said: “They are going to keep the loop through Raheen as a two-way. I think this is the wrong decision. Their stated reason for keeping the loop in Raheen is they would be sitting at the terminus until the scheduled time of departure. But I feel they’d be sitting at the terminus for less time if they didn’t go back through the loop.”

Bus Eireann – which has been contacted for comment – expected to change its bus service timetables in the city in the coming weeks, as well as introducing a software upgrade to make boarding quicker.