Independent Senator and Galway West/South Mayo General Election candidate Dr Fidelma Healy Eames is calling for an extension of the bus service connecting Carnmore to Galway City.
“Our public transport links are almost non-existent. Carnmore is only a few miles from the city and yet there isn’t even a regular multi-trip service to and from Carnmore Cross.”
Carnmore is particularly poorly serviced. The service runs only once a day at 7.40 in the morning. Local people have told me “this is not practical for middle aged and older people who have no cars and need to get into the city at later times of the day. They feel cut-off and isolated”.
I heard the same story in Annaghdown and Maree. Until there is a policy where the Government bites the bullet and says we are investing in reliable regular public transport, people will not or cannot change their ‘car dependency’ habits.
There needs to be a number of reliable bus services a day to allow residents who have no transport of their own to reach the city and more generally, to get people out of their cars and using buses. Otherwise the service fails and people have to make other plans.
“Young Lads buying bangers”
Lack of investment by Government in reliable public transport links is also a key reason why young lads are buying cheap cars—bangers—increasing gridlock, increasing emissions and regrettably, accidents in some cases.
Either the Government is simply not aware of how we change behaviour or else they don’t want to, given the revenue they take in from car sales and fuel. If we are serious about changing behaviour away from car dependency then we have to provide reliable transport alternatives first.
The government states that it is committed to social inclusion. Yet, in practice we see it neglecting Carnmore and other rural communities like it, leaving it cut off from essential services.”
The current service is operated by Bus Éireann, who have already been referenced by the Senator as part of her plan to improve the Galway traffic situation. For more information on her proposals to solve the traffic crisis, visit GalwayTraffic.ie.