Minister says bus connectivity to Portiuncula Hospital vital

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Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has said that the government will try to address a shortage of bus services to Portiuncula Hospital.

Speaking in the Dáil, Minister Ryan said that a shift in public transport routes needs to “maintain connectivity” with vital services such as this hospital.

Galway TD Denis Naughten had raised the issue of bus links to Portiuncula, saying that there has been a 60% drop in the number of buses serving the hospital since the Expressway route was cancelled.

“An analysis of the current Citylink replacement service with that provided by Bus Éireann shows that, between 7.30 a.m. an 9.30 p.m., the service has gone from 226 buses a week to a current offering of just 84 buses a week outside Portiuncula.”

Bus Éireann cancelled the Expressway service between Galway and Dublin back in July, seriously reducing the number of buses stopping in towns between the two cities.

Minister Ryan responded that he has “met with local representatives for the area and had a series of discussions with my own officials to try to address the concerns.”

“I have told them we need to look again at the very specific issue of Portiuncula Hospital and ensure that, as we change the overall route alignment, we maintain critical connectivity to those types of facilities.”

“The NTA is charged with working with the local operators, Bus Éireann and others to ensure we address some of the concerns that have been raised.”

The Minister added that he would have to seek an update from the department on specifics about the hospital.