ALL bus stops on Sandy Lane in Blackrock are to be cancelled because of infrastructure changes at the Rock Road junction, according to Halpenny Coaches.
Speaking to the Dundalk Leader John Halpenny of Halpenny Travel said that due to the changes made, their buses are unable to turn at the junction without breaking the law.
“It’s a safety problem and we need to look at it. The traffic guards examined it and they also claimed it was unsafe,” said John.
“No-one wants an accident. We made the difficult decision to cancel all stops on Sandy Lane but we wrote a letter to the council explaining the situation.
“We are encouraging the council to come up with a solution. The guards have said it’s not safe.”
John added: “A lot of people are affected by this. 3,900 people travel on that route with 1,500 – 1,600 on that single road.
“We carry three wheelchair users per week and the only place in Blackrock with a footpath high enough for them to get off is in Sandy Lane. It takes away their civil rights.
“We also carry women with buggies who depend on the service for trips to the doctor and the like.”
He concluded: “We’ve written to the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan, Senator John McGahon and Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd.
“We are only doing this for safety reasons. No-one wants to have an accident. We’ve been operating this route for nearly 100 years.
“We are asking the council to remove 3ft so that the bus can turn on that edge and not cross over the white line.”
Cllr Maeve Yore introduced a motion to have an independent audit of the junction to solve the issue at the November meeting of the Dundalk Municipal District.
“To say I’m frustrated is an understatement. I was approached in June of this year and told that there was an issue,” said Maeve.
“The following month I met with the engineer who signed off on the layout of the new junction.
“My motion will be put before all councillors in December to vote on it. This whole situation contradicts the Town & Village Scheme, which aims to encourage the use of public transport.
“I’m doing my utmost to help bring about a solution to this problem. There just has to be more communication and collaboration involved.”