Fine Gael Kildare South TD Martin Heydon has said that significant efforts have been made to ensure regular bus service are returned to the old N9 route following the decision of JJ Kavanagh in January to pull a number of bus services from the old N9 from Castledermot, Moone, Timolin, Crookstown, Kilgowan and Kilcullen,
Deputy Heydon along with Deputy Jack Wall met with Ann Graham CEO of the National Transport Authority (NTA) in Dáil Éireann on Wednesday last (March 4th) along with representatives of the Save our N9 bus service action group to discuss this specific issue where alternative solutions to the impasse were discussed.
“Ms. Graham explained that the NTA are in discussions with private operators who are reviewing the situation and have committed to coming back to the NTA in the next two to three weeks. In the meantime the NTA are progressing preparation of tender documents for a possible public service obligation, a state funded subsidy.”
“This meeting with Ann Graham was a specific follow up from the meeting held between the Save our N9 bus services group and Minister Pascal Donohoe in Dail Eireann a few weeks ago where the Minister heard the concerns of the local community and undertook to arrange a follow up meeting.”
Ann Graham and Martin Nolan of Bus Éireann also attended a public meeting in Athy last Thursday night regarding the potential loss of the Bus Éireann Route No. 7 which serves Athy coming from Castlecomer.
Speaking after the meeting where the NTA and Bus Eireann representatives also met public representatives, Deputy Heydon stated “I support the efforts from Kilkenny to Laois to Athy to maintain a bus service that presently travels along Route 7. It is important however that the specific case of the Castledermot route along the old N9 from which Bus Éireann withdrew a number of years ago is treated as a stand alone issue and not confused with the Route 7 proposal. The impact from Castledermot to Kilcullen is very real and this issue deserves to stand on its own. I will continue to fight to see a return of services to this route and remain in close contact with private providers and the NTA.”