By Kim O'Leary
Kildare North Labour General Election Candidate Emmet Stagg has lodged a Submission with the National Transport Authority under the BusConnects Public Consultation, calling for the retention of the 66a Bus Service serving the Confey area of Leixlip, and to add additional services to the existing route to improve the service for Confey Residents.
In his Submission, Mr. Stagg pointed out that at present the 66a from Riverforest Estate has 17 services daily to the City Centre and 18 services daily from the City Centre to Riverforest, but that under the BusConnects proposals this will be reduced to 1 Express service daily to City Centre and UCD in the morning and one Express Service returning from UCD and the City Centre to Riverforest in the evening.
Mr. Stagg also pointed out that BusConnects also propose's that a New Route 259 will operate every 30 minutes from Confey Station to Leixlip Village and further onto Green Lane, Celbridge and Hazelhatch Station. It is proposed this will operate on weekdays from 6 am until 11 pm, every 30 minutes.
Mr. Stagg stated that the BusConnects proposals are a 'catastrophic loss of direct services to the City Centre for the people of Confey.'
Under their proposals Confey Commuters will be forced to take two bus journey's, one down to the Main Street on the proposed new route 259, and then after queuing on Main Street one to the City Centre on Buses originating in Maynooth and Celbridge..
He said: 'There is a presumption on the NTA's part that the Maynooth and Celbridge Buses will not be full on entering Leixlip which is unlikely at peak times. The two bus journeys and queueing on Main Street will be a particular inconvenience for elderly people and people with disabilities, but in the end all commuters are effectively discommoded by the NTA's proposals.'
In relation to the replacement proposal Mr. Stagg pointed out that the Route 259 proposal, which the NTA are proposing to put in place of the 66a, would require Confey Commuters to use this service to reach Main Street and then queue on Main Street in the hope of getting the Maynooth or Celbridge Bus Service.
Mr. Stagg stated that even the location of the terminus for the proposed Route 259 at Confey Station, using a single deck minibus initially due to space constraints at Confey Station, shows disrespect for Dublin Bus Commuters in the Confey Area.
Summarising the proposals Mr. Stagg pointed out that under the BusConnects proposals the residents of Confey are loosing their direct service to the City Centre going from 17 services per day down to 1. After that it’s two bus journeys, one down to Main Street and then the next one to the City Centre. This will be a particular inconvenience for elderly and people with disabilities, but it will affect everybody.
In his submission Mr. Stagg reminded the NTA of The Dublin Bus Customer Charter which states 'We Review services we offer regularly and listen to the views of our customers when making any changes. The Emphasis will be on improving services where possible in line with customer usage'.
Concluding his submission Kildare North Labour General Election Candidate Emmet Stagg called on the NTA to listen to Dublin Bus customers in Confey and drop the proposal to get rid of the 66a. The 66a service is working and should be improved with additional services rather than the proposal to get rid of the service.
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