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Bus stops disappear between Bunratty & Cratloe

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Bus signs that have been in place “for decades” have disappeared along the dual-carriageway connecting Clare and Limerick.

Safety concerns were raised by the removal “without any prior consultation” of bus stops between Bunratty and Cratloemoyle along the N18 which has seen secondary school students cross four lines of traffic along the dual-carriageway.

Cllr Cathal Crowe (FF) at a recent meeting of the Shannon Municipal District requested Bus Éireann and the National Transport Authority “to immediately reinstate” the various bus stops that are no longer along the N18. “I don’t know what rules Bus Éireann were operating when they removed these,” he confessed. According to Cllr Crowe the bus stops have been at their locations along the route “for decades”.

“A bus driver would be within his rights not to stop if there isn’t a bus stop there”. He pointed out that Bus Éireann apologies for the matter five months ago when addressing councillors at their April meeting. “Each year the school bus service runs into turmoil in the Cratloe and Meelick area, a lot of these students are going to Limerick schools and now Bus Éireann have unilaterally changed where they drop off students”.

As a result, the Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council flagged that a thirteen year old girl “had to cross four lines of a dual-carriageway” after getting off the bus. “It is a driver and a pedestrian hazard”.

“It seems to be me that there is a bit of scelp going on. If the bus stop is gone long enough they seem to be hoping people will forget about it,” Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) observed.

Newmarket-on-Fergus’ need for a shelter to the bus stop on the Limerick Rd was highlighted by Cllr Pat McMahon (FF) at the same meeting.

Senior executive engineer, Aidan O’Rourke referred to NTA correspondence from July 2017 which noted that there were no immediate plans for a sheltered stop and such a move would “take a number of years to complete at current funding levels”. O’Rourke confirmed that a follow up letter would be issued to the NTA, “If the answer to this is not positive, quotations will be sought for bus shelters. A source of funding will need to be identified to progress this matter,” he stated.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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