[Sinn Fein]

12th April 2002

Crowe disappointed at curtailing of West Tallaght bus service

Sinn Fein Councillor Seán Crowe is disappointed at the decision to curtail service on the Number 77 bus route to West Tallaght this Friday and Saturday evening.

Following a meeting between gardaí and busworkers' unions, the unions backed down from an earlier threat to withdraw services altogether. In response to drivers' concerns, Operation Saferoute, which will see an increased garda presence on buses, will now be reintroduced to guarantee the safety of drivers and passengers.

``As a public representative, I believe strongly that measures must be taken to protect bus drivers and passengers, such as the increased security on buses that had an impact before,'' said Crowe.

``I welcome the reintroduction of Operation Saferoute, as I know there have been some deplorable and unacceptable assaults in the past, combined with the danger posed by so-called joyriders, and I appreciate the legitimate concerns of the drivers. I am disappointed, however, that the drivers' representatives have decided to curtail the bus service to West Tallaght this weekend. People also have a right to public transport. Inconveniencing the travelling public, the vast majority of whom are blameless, is unjust and not the best way to deal with the problem.

``I am urging the busworkers' representatives to sit down with community representatives and gardaí at the forum set up specifically to deal with such issues, which will meet on Tuesday, and to hold off in the meantime on any further unilateral action that will discriminate against commuters.''

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