Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo, Dara Calleary, and Mayo County Councillor, Michael Smyth, have met with the National Transport Authority to raise matters with bus services across East Mayo.
They met with the NTA in Leinster House and their discussions focused on the impact of the changes announced last year to the old Route 52 (Ballina-Galway ) service and the introduction of a new 421 service. The changes to Route 52 meant that there was no longer direct service connections from Swinford, Kiltimagh, or Knock to Galway. This has caused considerable inconvenience.
Deputy Calleary commented: "Cllr. Michael Smyth and I held a positive meeting with senior officials from the NTA. During our meeting we raised the vital need for improvements and additional services for Swinford, Kiltimagh, and Knock. Cllr John Caulfield has also been raising these issues with me but was unable to attend the meeting.
"We conveyed the urgent need for at least one daily direct service to connect Swinford, Kiltimagh, and Knock to Galway, with a direct return service later in the evening. We feel that this can be achieved by a small change to the existing route.
"We also pointed to the need for improved communication on the timetable for the 421 service for service users in the region, through local and social media. It is our feeling that the 421 service is being compromised by the timetable as it stands, considering the frequency of delays out of Galway in the evening.
"The delivery of bus shelters was also requested. The route is poorly served with shelters and they should be provided to commuters who have had to endure long hard winters with harsh weather conditions. Some minor changes to the service could turn this into an important and well used transport link.
"I understand a consultation process may commence with a view to making proactive changes to the route and service provided. I would urge constituents who use this service to make contact with Cllr. Smyth or I so we can bring your opinions to the NTA," concluded Deputy Calleary.