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Free travel from Buncrana to Derry restored 20.11.14

THE restoration of free travel passes on the Buncrana to Derry bus route has been welcomed this week.
The service was taken over by long-standing Buncrana firm, McGonagles, following the closure of the Lough Swilly Bus Company earlier this year.
However, admission to the free travel scheme was denied to firms taking over existing routes as well as new entrants.
Witholding the subsidy meant pensioners and people with disabilities in Inishowen could not avail of their free travel rights on the route.
Inishowen Fianna Fáil T.D., Charlie McConalogue claimed there had been "blatant discrimination" in relation to the issue.
“The Minister had repeatedly refused to reinstate the free travel pass claiming that her department was not in a position to consider new applications or applications from new bus operators taking over existing routes," he said.
Deputy Charlie McConalogue.
“However, following repeated representations Minister Burton confirmed to me in the Dáil last month that she had 'asked officials in the Department to examine ways in which companies could be admitted to the free travel scheme, initially where they are taking over routes for which free travel funding was previously available, including in Donegal, and thereafter on other routes with licenced passengers'.
“I am glad that this has now come to pass and use of the free travel pass on the route has been reinstated," he added.
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