Calls have been made for City Direct to resume services to Knocknacarra, due to the fact that for many it is the only access many have to the city centre.
City Direct first suspended routes 410 (Cappagh Road – Eyre Square via Salthill), 412 (Cappagh Road – Eyre Square via Westside), and 414 (Barna – Eyre Square via Lombard Steet) on March 16 as the coronavirus pandemic and restriction set in.
This was followed with the suspension of the bus company’s last route 411 (Cappagh Road – Eyre Square via Westside) a week later on March, and services have yet to resume.
“With lockdown measures easing we understand there is increased demand to resume our service,” the company said in its most recent public statement on July 1
“Unfortunately, at this time we do not have additional information on the start date. Thank you for understanding and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
The Galway branch of the Social Democrats said this ongoing suspension of services is another sign of the “transport crisis” in Galway City, and has called for clarity for impacted workers, students, and families.
“If we want to work reducing car dependency and easing traffic congestion – we need safe, dependable, and workable alternatives for the public,” said branch Chairperson Sharon Nolan.
“Cycling infrastructure and regular public transport are key if we want to offer real alternatives for the residents of our city.”
Local residents have said that the lack of public transport available as a result of Covid-19 has a serious impact on all commuters
“For a large portion of the suburb, City Direct provided the only routes to the city centre or to Salthill,” said Knocknacarra resident Conall Maguire.
He added the relaxing of restriction in recent months means that more people are being called back to their workplaces as businesses open up.
“At this moment that would be impossible for anyone who doesn’t have access to a car and is reliant on the service provided by City Direct.”
Local resident Lauren Dolan said that the loss of this service to the wider reaches of Knocknacarra has had a huge impact on local residents who don’t have cars; “From simple trips to the supermarket to necessary travel to the city and beyond.”
“Personally I have been in the position to help some of those affected by the absence of any buses in the area with weekly shopping trips, essential health appointments, and volunteers. All of whom wouldn’t have any other way to travel to where they needed to go.”
The Social Democrats claim this situation highlights the issues that come with privatising public transport, when decisions are made based on “profitability instead of by the needs of residents of an area.”