THE planned Ennis Town bus is expected to be delayed until 2025 – however a local politician is urging people to use public transport facilities that are already in place.

The Local Link bus service has about 25 return bus trips to Ennis every day, plus six trips on the circular C6 bus within town. Local election candidate Bridget Ginnity (Green Party) points out that these can be used by Ennis residents to get around town for €1 per journey, or free with a travel card.

“At least seven buses go along the Tulla Road every day. These buses will stop at any of the eight stopping points specified by Local Link between the train/bus station and Gort na mBlath, near the bypass. It’s not easy for people to find out about it though. There are no timetables posted, not even at the train station.  There are no bus stop signs with the exception of the train station and the Temple Gate carpark.  Also, you need to look at timetables for several bus routes to find out all the times.”

Other routes in and out of town do not have as many specified stopping points as the Tulla Road. Ms Ginnity notes that along the Lahinch Road, there are almost 10 Local Link buses traveling each way but stopping points have not been identified within the suburban area. “Nevertheless, passengers are entitled to ask Local Link buses to stop anywhere it is safe to do so,” she told The Clare Echo.

Senator Roisin Garvey, spokesperson for rural development, said of Local Link, “It now services so many villages across the county three times a day, seven days a week – villages that have been decades without a service.  We are now giving people in rural areas a real opportunity to use the bus to get around for an average cost of €2 making it not just greener but also cheaper than driving.” Her colleague Bridget Ginnity would like to see people in Ennis town also getting benefit from this investment.

“I’ve been asking local link to compile timetables for all the main routes in and out of Ennis for almost a year, to make it easy for people to know when buses are passing by. I’ve also asked them to identify more stopping points on routes, which they have done for the Tulla Road. It’s great for towns throughout the county that the Green Party in government has introduced lots of new bus routes and reduced the fares. We might as well use it fully in Ennis as well while we are waiting for the Ennis Town Bus to be introduced.”

To check how well it works in practice, Bridget took the 344 bus (Whitegate) from Ennis station to Gort na mBlath on the Tulla Road, and got the 342 (Flagmount) back into town.  “It was very pleasant, with friendly and courteous drivers, and we departed and arrived according to the timetable. I’d love to see this existing service being used to its full potential. It would be so handy for people living in Ennis and help to reduce traffic congestion. And at €1, it’s cheaper than parking.”

Additional information

The official stops along the Tulla Road are opposite Castlerock Estate, at Knockaderry Grove, at the Western Joinery entrance, before Roslevan. An tSean Dun, just beyond Roslevan, Four seasons drive and Gort na mBlath.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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