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Additional bus stops in Barefield will help in encouraging more people to avail of public transport, county councillors have claimed.

In a proposal before the Ennis Municipal District, Cllr Mark Nestor (FF) requested that the local authority write to Bus Éireann and the National Transport Authority (NTA) to place additional stops along Route 51 at the Gort Rd in Ennis and in the village of Barefield

Consideration to the request will occur between Clare County Council and the NTA, senior executive engineer John Gannon confirmed.

Speaking at this month’s Ennis MD meeting, Cllr Nestor called Route 51 “one of the busiest routes in the county”. He stated, “We talk about a greener environment and climate change and getting cars off the road, until we invest in public transport we won’t get cars off the road. Barefield is an ideal location for a bus stop, there are quite a number of third level students living out there, they are hopping in a car in the morning and getting a lift to the bus station instead of being able to wait at a bus stop”.

Barefield representative, Cllr Ann Norton (IND) echoed these sentiments. “Some people say that Barefield is at a disadvantage that we’re close to Ennis but we’re also at an advantage because we’re too close to Ennis. A bus stop would be ideal when you think there is only a bus stop in Crusheen and the next one is in Ennis”.

A bus stop used to be in existence outside the Auburn Lodge Hotel, Cllr Mary Howard (FG) recalled. She claimed that “only a handful” of bus stops in the county town are functioning.

“If we are serious about dealing with climate change, we have to see a shift in our modes of transport,” Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG) commented as he flagged a lack of bus stops on the Tulla, Gort and Lahinch roads. He claimed, “53% of commuting and education trips in Ennis are done by car, there is a national target of getting that to 45% but we can’t do that without the infrastructure and more bus stops in the town”.

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