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That’s not fare!

Wednesday, 4th September, 2019 4:59pm

People living in East Cork are paying extortionate amounts of money in bus fares when commuting to the city.

That’s according to Fianna Fáil Cllr for East Cork, James O’Connor, who has called upon Bus Éireann and the National Transport Authority (NTA) to immediately launch a review into what he describes as “unsustainably high fares”.

“Fares need to be decreased in a major way because they’re extraordinarily expensive for the relative distance that you’re traveling,” said Cllr O’Connor.

He added: “Bus Éireann is saying that they have no control over the prices, which is something I don’t accept. They’re blaming the NTA for the fact that the prices are so high in East Cork.”

Currently an adult return fare from Youghal to Cork costs €19, a journey of 48km. Meanwhile an adult return ticket from Cork city to Dungarvan, a journey of 75km, costs €9.50.

Cllr O’Connor said that these fares are completely unjustified and that they are a “major deterrent” to commuters taking an environmentally friendly option to travel to Cork city.

He also pointed out that the growing traffic issues in the East Cork region could be greatly reduced through improved public transport.

Cllr O’Connor said: “Youghal is at a huge disadvantage due to congestion and it just shows how important it is that we increase capacity on bus services and make them affordable.

“There’s a lot of people out there who can’t afford a car and need to use the bus, but a ten-day ticket is the price of a tank of diesel for a two litre car to go up and down to Cork for a week, so there’s no saving in it.”

Cllr O’Connor also expressed concern regarding a projected growth in population in Ireland and in Cork.

“We’re going to have about five million people living in Ireland next year, and Cork is going to see huge increases. But there’s no extra mile of road being built between here and Cork city to cater for that. So my question is, what are we doing about it? And the answer is nothing.”

In a statement issued to the Cork Independent, Bus Éireann said: “Our Expressway services are wholly commercial services and receive no State funding.

“From time to time, we offer seat sales and promotions on certain routes and on certain segments of routes. Currently we are offering a promotion on our Expressway Route 40 (Rosslare Harbour - Waterford - Cork - Killarney - Kerry Airport - Tralee and return) service.”

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