Concerns have been raised over issues preventing local people from being able to book cross-border travel via bus and coach on Bus Eireann.
Sinn Féin Derry City & Strabane District Councillor, Colly Kelly, has now called on Bus Éireann to look again at a policy of not allowing passengers to book tickets online for cross-border journeys to Derry and elsewhere.
Colr Kelly said that the inter-connection and frequency of travel across all parts of Ireland meant the online barrier made no sense.
He said: “Bus Éireann operates a cross-border service but at the moment passengers cannot book tickets for a journey ending in the North.
“This is despite the fact that Bus Éireann buses cross the border every day to a range of cities and towns across the North.
“Some cross border services, such as the Dublin to Letterkenny bus, actually cross the border twice in the course of their journey and pass through many towns in the North, yet passengers are unable to buy tickets online for these journeys.”
Colr. Kelly said that in addition to causing an inconvenience for local people, the booking issue would also create difficulties for tourists planning on visiting the North.
He continued:“Many visitors to Ireland plan their journeys in advance and the North could be losing out on tourism because they are unable to book tickets online for cross-border journeys.
“Sinn Féin will be seeking a meeting with Bus Éireann in an effort to have this resolved and I will also be liaising with my colleagues in Dáil Éireann to ensure that All-Ireland travel is made as simple as possible.”
A Bus Éireann spokeswoman responded: “Bus Éireann operates cross-border services in conjunction with Translink.
“Both companies operate separate online ticket booking systems and, therefore, currently cannot facilitate online ticket purchasing for cross-border journeys where passengers avail of both Translink and Bus Éireann services to reach their destination.”