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Ward calls for 24-hour bus service for Dún Laoghaire

11th October 2021 - Senator Barry Ward

A Fine Gael Senator has called on Dublin Bus and the National Transport Authority (NTA) to introduce a 24-hour service for Route 46A, which runs between Dún Laoghaire and the Phoenix Park, through the city centre.

Senator Barry Ward said: “As we understand it now, and as the NTA recently confirmed, there are no current plans for the return of the Nitelink service as we emerge from Covid-19 restrictions and the night-time economy reopens. This signals the end of the line for the proposed 46N night bus service.

“Pre-Covid, the Nitelink was a necessary service for people from the Dún Laoghaire area to get home from the city late at night. Without it, people would be forced to spend significant sums of money on taxis, as Iarnród Éireann does not operate regular late-night DART services.

“First introduced on Route 41, which operates between the city centre and Swords, and Route 15, which runs from Firhouse to Clongriffin, 24-hour bus services have been rolled out across Dublin. Dublin Bus has announced its intention to increase the number of these services and in December 2020, a 24-hour service was rolled out on Route 39A, which serves UCD and terminates in Ongar. These services have been extremely successful, and I have no doubt that their usage will increase with the reopening of the night-time economy.

“I am calling on the Minister for Transport to work with Dublin Bus and the NTA to replicate this offering on Route 46A so the people in Dún Laoghaire and the surrounding areas have access to a 24-hour bus service. This would provide a frequent and reliable public transport option for people who need to return home late at night, be it from work or from a night out. Unlike the Nitelink – which charges a double cash fare of €6.60 – a 24-hour 46A would also be an affordable option for people as it would only require standard Dublin Bus fares.

“We are all looking forward to the reopening of the night-time economy when restrictions ease on 22 October, but with that reopening comes a responsibility to ensure that people in suburbs across Dublin are provided with the means to get home late at night. This is even more relevant when we consider the legislation introduced earlier this year by Minister Helen McEntee, which seeks to extend opening hours of bars and nightclubs.

“People in our area will need to have access to the city centre at all hours of the day and night, and I’m calling on Minister Eamon Ryan to ensure that Dún Laoghaire can avail of a 24-hour bus service as soon as possible”, concluded Senator Ward.

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