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Derry-Dublin bus link to continue despite Bus Éireann cuts

Bus Éireann is to cease its twice daily Derry-Dublin service from May 28.
Seamus McKinney

TRANSLINK has pledged to maintain bus links between Derry and Dublin after Bus Éireann announced plans to scrap its twice daily service between the two cities.

The Derry to Dublin route is one of three – along with the Dublin/Clonmel and the Athlone/Westport services - which Bus Éireann intends ending as part of a major cost cutting exercise.

The company has been in prolonged negotiations with trade unions and has warned that if cuts aren't made it could be forced out of business. Bus Éireann intends stopping its Derry service from May 28.

Once the main joint provider of bus links between Dublin and Derry, Bus Éireann experienced a fall in passenger numbers throughout its network. The Derry to Dublin route is also served by a private company operating bus routes between Donegal and Dublin.

While Bus Éireann operates a twice daily service between Derry and Dublin, Translink operates seven services a day between the two cities. Some of these are direct and a number involve passengers changing at Monaghan.

A spokeswoman for Translink said the company was fully committed to continuing the Derry/Dublin Goldline coach service.

She said: “Translink will continue to provide the services we operate on this route, including our current X3 service to Monaghan, Dublin Airport and Dublin city centre and our X4 direct route through mid-Ulster to Dublin Airport and Dublin city centre.

“Passengers can also use the frequent 212 Goldline Express service to link to our hourly X1 and X2 direct services from Belfast to Dublin Airport and Dublin city centre.”

James Anthony McGinley, of McGinley Coach Travel said the Derry route was not one of the busiest. Mr McGinley, whose company operates a twice daily service between Inishowen and Dublin through Derry, said numbers using the Derry route had remained steady in recent years.

“I think demand between Derry and Dublin would continue to be catered for by Translink and ourselves,” Mr McGinley said.

Trade unions representing Bus Éireann workers have threatened all out strike next week in protest at the company's planned cuts which will result in redundancies.

Transport Minister Shane Ross however insisted yesterday he will not make an 11th hour intervention to resolve a looming strike which will cripple the Republic's bus network.

Speaking before a Dáil committee, Mr Ross said he had no money to resolve the problem and therefore getting involved in what was an industrial dispute would not help.

The minister said trade union bosses and Bus Éireann chiefs would have to sit down together to sort out the row, which would "undoubtedly" happen sooner or later.

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