Significant changes to services across County Waterford

Local Link announce significant changes to services across County Waterford. Increased days of operation and wheelchair accessible vehicles introduced. Links to WIT and UHW

All access vehicles

From Monday 2nd December Local Link will commence the roll-out of all-access low floor vehicles on our 363 Tallow to Dungarvan and 367A Dungarvan to Waterford City services. Our 367 Tramore to Dungarvan and 364 Tallow to Fermoy service will be wheelchair accessible from January 2020. This represents a significant change in that anyone with impaired mobility will be able to use these buses. We have been aware for some time that not alone could people who are wheelchair users not use our services, but that the need to climb a number of steps to get into the bus was also an issue for many of our passengers. The availability of all access buses will also bring our services in line with the Department of Transport’s concept of ‘Transport Access for All’ based on the Disability Act 2005 and the National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021 which were designed to advance and underpin the greater participation of people with disabilities in society. Through these accessibility improvements for people with disabilities, access for all will be improved.

Local Link has operated public bus services across the County over the past sixteen years and continues to develop and grow the number and range of services. In line with the introduction of all access buses we are also increasing the level of services on a number of routes. This is in line with our plans to expand services under the Rural Transport Programme, and discussions at our meetings of the Transport Working Group established by Waterford City and County Council under the Waterford Age Friendly Strategy. The following changes will commence as and from Monday 2nd December 2019.

363 Tallow to Dungarvan

Our winter timetable will see us operating eight daily return services from Tallow to Dungarvan Monday to Saturday and four return services on Sunday. Our late service from Tallow on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8.00 pm, with the 11.30pm return service will also continue to operate.

Dungarvan Shopping Centre

One consequence of the introduction of larger all access buses is that we will no longer be in a position to operate to the stop at Dungarvan Shopping Centre. Having examined the route it is clear that it would no longer be safe to turn the vehicle at the junction of John Treacy Street onto O’Connell Street, and at Grattan Square at the junction of O’Connell Street and St Mary’s Street. Our 363 Tallow to Dungarvan service will now only operate to and from the main bus stops on Davitts Quay.

Lismore Stops to change

We will also have to make changes to our current practice where two services from Dungarvan serviced stops on Parks Road and Station Road. This will no longer be possible and we would therefore ask any intending passengers who are unable to get to our stop on West Street to contact our office at 0761 102076. Our plan is to work with our current demand responsive services where we use smaller vehicles and offer door-to-door services for passengers.

364 Tallow to Fermoy moves to three daily return services

We are making significant changes to this service with a view to improving the connections between Tallow and Fermoy. We are increasing the number of services from two to three daily return services from Tallow at 08.00, 11.00 and 16.00. The return services from Fermoy at 10.00, 13.00 and 17.00 will allow for better connections to the 363 Dungarvan services which had been a problem with our current timetable.

367 Tramore to Dungarvan becomes a six day service

Local Link are pleased to announce that our 367 service along the Copper Coast between Tramore and Dungarvan, which currently operates on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will move to a full six day Monday to Saturday service with three daily return services. The change in times will allow those travelling on the 07.30am service from Tramore through Kill, Dunhill, Bunmahon and Stradbally to get to Dungarvan for 09.00am with return services at 2.00pm and 5.30pm. We are also introducing an all access vehicle on this service.

367A Dungarvan to Whitfield, WIT, Waterford City and UHW

Local Link are also moving from three to six day services on this route and increasing the daily return services to two. The new schedule which leaves Dungarvan at 07.30am will allow for connections to WIT for students living in the areas of Stradbally, Bunmahon, Kill, and Dunhill. The new timetable will also allows us to commence services to Whitfield and Waterford University Hospital and we will be introducing an all access bus on this service over the next few weeks.

Ballinroad

With the increase in the level of services Local Link can now offer additional services between Ballinroad and Dungarvan. Our new schedule will operate seven return services Monday to Saturday. Our first service to Davitts Quay stop will leave Ballinroad at 07.20am and the last service in the evening will leave Dungarvan at 18.50. Based on our experience operating hopper services for the West Waterford Festival of Food we believe that there is a significant demand for a public bus link between Ballinroad and Dungarvan and will be using the expansion of the 367 services to see what will best fit the needs of the local community.

Local Link continues to grow services across County Waterford.

Speaking to this paper, James O’Donoghue Manager of Local Link said “this expansion to our services represents a real investment in public transport. Initially operating services from rural areas to the local town on a weekly basis we have now grown to a level of service that offers real public transport options to people. We currently operate over 40 weekly services, in total over 170 bus services travelling within the County allowing people to attend a range of services from social activities and shopping to accessing work, training and educational services. Our 363 Tallow to Dungarvan service is currently carrying over six thousand passengers per month and we are in line to carry well in excess of one hundred and thirty thousand passengers across all services in 2019. The introduction of low floor vehicles also represents a significant step in our plans to have all services wheelchair accessible by 2021” he said.

In line with Governments’ commitment in Project Ireland 2040 to increasing local public transport, Local Link Waterford is committed to the ongoing development of new and expanded services. Speaking to this paper, Cllr James Tobin, Chairperson of Local Link Waterford said “We are delighted that the National Transport Authority continues to support the ongoing development of Local Link bus services. Demand responsive door to door bus services in more rural areas remains a cornerstone of what Local Link do. The development of our regular rural services operating 6 and 7 days a week are designed to ensure connectivity and contribute to supporting and sustaining rural communities. The success of these services is underlined by the increase of over eighty percent in passenger journeys on Local Link services since 2015. The expansion of public transport services will open up opportunities not only for local residents to make connections for employment, health, education and recreational opportunities, but also allow visitors to access the many areas of historic interest and natural beauty across the County. As we continue to develop a network of services for County Waterford we look forward to welcoming passengers on our services.

Fares vary depending on the destination and are set at a maximum of €3.00 per single trip for Adults. Reduced fares apply for students and children over 5 years of age. Free travel passes are accepted on all Local Link services.

Funded by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport under the Rural Transport Programme and supported by Waterford City and County Council we have a clear focus on the community needs in County Waterford. Free travel passes are accepted on all our services. As we continue to develop a network of services for County Waterford we look forward to welcoming you on our services.

For further details on any of our services check our timetables at www.locallinkwaterford.ie or to let us know of unmet transport needs in your area contact us on 0761 102845 or email James at james.odonoghue@locallink.ie

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