Councillor Elaine McGinty.
Cathaoirleach and Labour Councillor for East Meath & Drogheda South, Elaine McGinty has put forward a detailed submission to the Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan outlining the urgent need for additional and improved bus services for the villages of Duleek and Donore.
“There’s a growing demand for public transport links particularly from young people trying to access second and third level education, commuters and those who simply want to leave the car at home” Councillor McGinty said.
“This demand will only continue to grow into the future as both areas expand” she added.
“I believe that the current plans as outlined in Connecting Ireland fall well short on what is actually needed. This week I made a detailed submission calling for a point-to-point hourly service connecting Duleek and Donore to Drogheda.”
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“As it stands the last bus to Duleek from Drogheda is 8.30pm on Route 105 Drogheda – Blanchardstown. While the service is hourly in each direction, it suffers from frequent delays because it starts from Blanchardstown and meets traffic disruption along the N2 but also because of the sheer length of the route and large number of stops.”
“Teenagers and young adults face taxi fares in the region of €20 per trip if socialising or working past the last bus departure of 8.30pm. This is a major barrier to the people of Duleek availing of social and economic participation unlike their peers in other areas near Drogheda, which have later services.”
“Donore has virtually no connectivity at all. Currently served by route 163 Drogheda - Donore - Drogheda, it operates twice a day, once in mid-morning and another in mid-afternoon. There are no evening services past 2.45pm."
“I am proposing an additional “Local Link” circular route service from Drogheda to Donore and to Duleek running consistently from e.g., 7am until 11.30pm each day and serving Drogheda Retail Park and Rathmullen District Centre (Tesco Extra) off Donore Road both ways (for employment and shopping opportunities). Extending the existing 105 service to midnight.”
“If we are serious about climate change and developing a sustainable transport service then we need to include Duleek and Donore in our plans.”