Concerns over capacity on Limerick bus services due to Covid restrictions

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Email:

david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

Concerns over capacity on Limerick bus services due to Covid restrictions

Bus Éireann is appealing to Expressway customers to travel at off-peak times where possible

Bus Éireann is advising Limerick people to undertake only necessary journeys and to avoid, where possible, peak travel times on Expressway routes.  

Capacity of buses and coaches is currently limited to 50% in accordance with public health guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid19.

“We very much regret that, despite all of our available coaches and drivers being deployed, at the moment some people are not able to board Expressway services when they wish to travel,” said Eleanor Farrell, Chief Commercial Officer at Bus Éireann. 

“Public health and safety is our absolute priority and there can be no flexibility on overloading coaches.  We realise this is disappointing, and also that it can be challenging for our drivers.  No-one wants to leave people without transport,” she added.

The company says capacity issued have been identified on two routes serving Limerick since the end of June.         

• X12        Limerick/Dublin Airport via Nenagh, Roscrea, Portlaoise

• 51           Galway/Cork via Gort, Ennis, Shannon, Limerick, Buttevant, Mallow

“Full services can be of particular concern to people wishing to travel from intermediate stops and we anticipate that demand may continue to increase,” continued MS Farrell. 

“We want to encourage people to consider whether their journey is absolutely necessary and, especially if they plan on joining a service mid-route, to check the Expressway and Bus Éireann live Twitter feeds which will advise if the coach is full on departure.

At the moment, the busiest times are from 11am to 1pm and between 3pm and 7pm.

There is more demand at weekends, especially Friday afternoons and Sundays,” said Eleanor Farrell.  “We very much appreciate the understanding and cooperation of customers and our staff as we manage demand through these unprecedented times and look forward to keeping people connected around the country,” explained.

In addition to having reduced capacity on coaches, there are also restrictions as bus stations for those waiting for departures. 

Bus Éireann asks that passengers do not arrive earlier than 15 minutes before their scheduled departure time, as it may not be possible to enter the station before then.

Since June 29, it has been mandatory for passengers to wear masks or face coverings.