December 16, 2019
Business News

Anger as Kilkenny City Bus Service is delayed yet again – this time until February

Plans to launch the Kilkenny City Bus Service by Christmas have been parked because the seven buses required to provide the people of Kilkenny with public transport will not arrive on time.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has contacted Kilkenny County Council to inform them that “the fleet of buses required to operate the services are significantly overdue”.

In a letter to Council CEO Colette Byrne, the NTA said they had to delay the launch of the service until next year.

Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA, said in the letter: “I am writing to advise you that unfortunately, the new town bus service in Kilkenny will not commence until early in 2020.

“This despite the best efforts of the Authority. Current commitments from the supplier will provide the vehicles in time for a launch at the start of February 2020.

“The Authority regrets having to delay the into 2020 and recognises the good efforts of many people to achieve a December launch.”

Local Green Party councillor Malcolm Noonan today said the news the service has been hit by further delays is “completely unacceptable”.

He said he believes the NTA has “lost all credibility”, adding: “To me, this is utter incompetence. We are not talking about a major public transport infrastructure project in Dublin; this is five buses (plus two in case of break-downs)for a small regional town. It is unacceptable.

“This project needs to be successful if it is to be replicated in smaller towns throughout the State. This delay is simply unacceptable and we will be fighting a rearguard action to gain public confidence and support for the service.”

The Green Party’s Kilkenny-Carlow General Election candidate and party spokesperson for Local Government lamented the fact the service will not be operational by Christmas, saying it could have been used as an example for other towns to create a public transport service.

“It’s most unfortunate that the service will not be up and running for the Christmas period, many town centre shops are struggling and would benefit from this service,” added Cllr Noonan.

“The project has now lost all credibility. In a town that could have been a model for sustainable mobility, we are literally stuck in traffic due to lack of ambition and a lack of any sense of urgency by the NTA.”

When up and running, the city bus service will provide two cross-city routes to run in an East to West (Green Route) and North to South (Red Route) direction, connecting St Luke’s Hospital and the Freshford Road to the Dublin Road on one route, and the Castlecomer Road to the Bohernatounish Road (business park) on the other.

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