• Concerns have been raised with the National Transport Authority in relation to recent changes on the old Route 52 Ballina-Galway bus service.

    Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary and his party colleague Councillor Michael Smyth met with the NTA yesterday, where discussions centred on the impact of the changes announced last year on Route 52, and the introduction of a new 421 service.

    The changes to Route 52 mean there's no longer a direct service connection from Swinford, Kiltimagh or Knock to Galway, which Deputy Calleary says has caused considerable inconvenience.

    Deputy Calleary says they conveyed to the NTA the need for at least one daily direct service connecting these towns to Galway, with a return service in the evening, and said this can be achieved by a small change to the existing route.

  • A Mayo Fianna Fail TD has expressed concern about new proposals from the National Transport Authority to privatise another 10% of Bus Eireann routes from 2021. She’s warning that measures must be put in place to ensure a continuity of service for rural Ireland.

    Deputy Chambers says the NTA began privatising Bus Eireann routes a number of years ago and are now proposing to tender a further 10% from 2021. She says it is an extremely premature proposal, especially since no examination of the current arrangement has been undertaken.

    Deputy Chambers says she would like to see assurances from the NTA that there will be no downgrading of services in rural areas as a result of the proposal and staff concerns also need to be addressed.

    Fianna Fail has brought forward a Bill to prevent further privatisation of bus routes and the legislation allows for a delay in the awarding of any new contracts until a full review of previous tenders has been completed.


  • Louisburg in Co Mayo and Dunmore in Co Galway are among 15 designated areas for a new pilot programme which will see a local hackney service being provided.

    The National Transport Authority is offering a grant of €6,000 to individual drivers in each of the rural areas to provide a localised hackney service over a 12-month period.

    The 15 areas chosen were selected by the National Transport Authority as they do not currently have a full-time taxi or hackney service available.

    People interested in providing the part-time service must have a suitable vehicle, and all other details and application forms are available at www.dlah.ie