[Sinn Fein]

4th May 2002

Bus drivers urged not to withdraw service to West Tallaght

Councillor Seán Crowe this evening called on Dublin Bus drivers' representatives to pull back from their announced intention to cut ther bus service to West Tallaght from 7.30pm this evening.

``I understand following an incident this morning involving a bus driver and a motorist, that bus drivers' representatives have decided to cut all service to West Tallaght in protest from this evening,'' said Councillor Crowe.

``I believe this unilateral action is not the answer to drivers' concerns for their safety and the safety of passengers. While I acknowledge that the drivers have legitimate concerns, this move will inconvenience tens of thousands of passengers and cause additional security problems for people forced to walk home late at night in the absence of public transport.

``Following a similar curtailing of services last month, we reinstigated the forum involving community representatives, garda' and busworkers' union representatives to specifically address bus drivers' concerns for their safety and the safety of passengers.

``Community representatives and South Dublin County Council's anti-social unit agreed to put pressure on individuals known to have been causing trouble, the garda' agreed to step up Operation Saferoute, aimed directly at providing increased security on buses, and we heard that a number of people have been charged with offences.

``There was an acknowledgement by all concerned that the curtailing of the bus service last month, which inconvenienced many people dependant on buses, was a result of a breakdown in communication and consultation.

``Tonight's unhelpful unilateral action only serves to inconvenience and antagonise the travelling public and is not the answer.

``I am calling on the bus drivers' representatives to go through the channels set up to deal with this problem rather than engage in such negative tactics.

``If this security issue is to be resolved, all agencies must work more closely, including consulting with community representatives.''ENDS

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