Free travel from Buncrana to Derry
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.
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.