Bus Eireann Derry route threat to be raised in Dáil

Bus �ireann.
Bus �ireann.

The potential removal of a Derry to Dublin Bus Éireann service is expected to be raised in the Dáil today.

Sinn Fein’s spokesperson on Transport in the Dáil Imelda Munster TD is expected to address the issue with the National Transport Authority (NTA) at the Transport Committee meeting.

Bus Eireann.

Bus Eireann.

The move comes after a raft of senior politicians north of the border weighed to lobby for the retention of the X33 twice daily bus service.

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood has called on Bus Éireann to maintain its Derry to Dublin service, while Transport Minister Chris Hazzard has also raised concerns

The route is one of three across Ireland reported to be under threat as part of measures to help improve its financial situation.

Sinn Féin’s Raymond McCartney has welcomed the intervention by Minister Hazzard.

Raymond McCartney said: “Since this story broke I received a number of complaints from people in the city concerned that the service could be under threat.

“I have spoken with the Minister Chris Hazzard and he told me that he is raising this with the Minister for Transport in the South Shane Ross. His office has also been in contact with Bus Éireann.”

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood has also called on Bus Éireann to maintain its Derry-Dublin service.

Mr Eastwood said: “The Derry to Dublin service provided by Bus Éireann is an essential link between the North West and the capital, and it must be protected.

“While I understand that operator is experiencing financial difficulties, it would be a short-sighted move to sacrifice this vital route between two of Ireland’s major cities.

“I will be raising this with Transport Minister Shane Ross and the Irish Government to ensure this bus route remains in service.

“We should be enhancing the services between Derry and Dublin, not the reverse. This route is of strategic importance to Derry and the wider North West and must be maintained.”

People Before Profit Assembly candidate Eamonn McCann has also raised the issue in person with Minister Ross during a visit to Dublin on Monday.

Bus Eireann have yet to respond to queries over the Derry service.