A petition calling for the restoration of the Bus Éireann Expressway Galway to Dublin service has gathered over 1,200 signatures so far, including both physical and online signatures.
The petition was launched by Sinn Féin following the cancellation of the 20-X20 service which has been criticised by a number of TDs and councillors.
Galway East Sinn Féin’s Louis O’Hara has welcomed the large number of signatures and called on Minister Eamon Ryan to ensure that a bus service is reinstated for the affected areas.
He said that the petition demonstrates the importance of the bus service which stopped in stopped in Craughwell, Loughrea, Aughrim and Ballinasloe.
“There was huge anger at the ending of the service among the people we spoke to while collecting signatures,” he said.
“It’s going to leave a lot of people in very difficult situations, for example elderly people who relied on the service for things like medical appointments.
“The decision doesn’t make sense, especially at a time when we are being told to reduce our emissions and use public transport. It’s another nail in the coffin of rural towns.”
Louis O’Hara said that all options must be considered by Government to ensure that a bus service is reinstated for the areas affected.
“This bus service is simply too important to the people in the areas affected to be taken away,” he added.
“Villages like Kilreekil and Derrydonnell which have suffered enormously since the withdrawal of the 20-X20 service from their area in 2018 should also have it restored.”
“This is a lesson as to why public transport routes should never be put in the hands of private operators because it results in smaller towns and villages having services withdrawn.”
The petition can be found online at http://chng.it/KdHHkFSG4B