An online petition has been launched calling for reinstatement of bus services to the Knocknacarra area.
The petition which was established on Monday by Conall Maguire is calling on Minister Eamon Ryan to re-activate public transport routes from Cappagh Road to Eyre Square – via Salthilll, Westside and the Galway Retail Park – and from Barna to Eyre Square via Lombard Street which have been suspended since March 23 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Maguire says the routes which are serviced by the privately owned City Direct has greatly affected residents in the area and that greater fairness between the west and east sides of the city was needed in terms of public transport.
"For myself, the last bus stop in the area which is serviced by Bus Éireann is at least a half an hour walk from where I live. As a 23-year-old who is fit and healthy that is very doable, however, for someone who is not in good health, elderly, or has mobility issues, it is nigh on impossible. If you don't have access to a bike or a car how is someone able to get to the city centre? There are no capabilities [to travel into the city centre].
"It is an issue of fairness. Knocknacarra deserves to have its bus routes back open. It not fair to see bus services delivered in the east side of the city and not here.
Campaigners argue this has left up to 30,000 residents without access to public transport and Mr Maguire says there is great frustration in the area over the issue.
"There is frustration among the community. There seems to be a lack of will at local level to solve the situation. In my research, the buck stops with the NTA [National Transport Authority] and Department of Transport. People are suffering and will continue to when schools and colleges return."
At the time of writing the petition has more than 400 signatures on myuplift.ie
The most recent update on the City Direct website on July 1 states the company had no additional information on a start date.