Transport connectivity in Co Clare is to be improved as part of Bus Éireann’s plans to add an additional 3 million kilometres a year.

120 jobs are to be created as part of what Bus Éireann have described “its most significant single enhancement of services in more than fifteen years”. The services are to be rolled out in the coming weeks.

Better connectivity for Co Clare is included along with a greatly upgraded town service for Navan, greater frequency in Cork & Limerick cities.

Funded by the National Transport Authority through the Government’s July Stimulus, it includes both new services and increased frequency on existing services, that when combined will contribute to Bus Éireann providing an additional three million kilometres of journeys per year nationwide.

In total 120 driver posts will be created as a result of the enhancements being delivered through the July Stimulus, with half requiring external recruitment in the areas of Ballina, Cork, Drogheda, Dundalk and Limerick.

Weekend services will be introduced on Scariff-Limerick routes for the first time; and in West Clare there will be a significant increase in frequency between Ennis and West Clare and the towns of Kilkee, Doonbeg and Lahinch will be linked directly for the first time.

Service enhancements on the West Clare Network which connect to rail at Ennis, will enable passengers to travel between West Clare and Dublin in a single day for the first time using public transport. And in the Greater Dublin Area, all major commuter timetables have been revised to improve punctuality and reliability.

In Limerick city, the frequency of route 303 will double to every 15 minutes, and more services will be offered in the evenings and weekend than has been available to date. The route will also be extended to include Georgian Village, to address additional housing and growing demand in the area.

“This is the largest single investment by government in Bus Éireann services in more than 15 years. These new and improved services will mean that public transport will be a viable option for more people outside Dublin than ever before. By providing more choice and frequency we will connect more communities and encourage the switch from cars, while also reducing traffic, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions,” Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan (GP) stated.

All service enhancements “have been carefully considered and created to meet either increased demand or to address gaps in existing services,” Anne Graham, CEO, National Transport Authority; explained.

Stephen Kent, CEO, Bus Éireann commented, “We’re glad to be able to deliver services in our regional towns and cities that provide for more balanced regional development and growth, especially as people consider new and more flexible ways of working and living. To be recruiting drivers nine months into a pandemic is very positive and we are delighted to see that more women are starting to see it as a career for them as well. With the support of funding from the NTA and Government, this investment and additional services will help us to provide reliable and safe public transport services for more people around the country”.

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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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