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Connecting Ireland Project Launched



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,785 ✭✭✭thomasj

    Ah okay . There would be some nice scope for enhancing the 139. It's a good route.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,115 ✭✭✭pad199207

    Indeed. Dublin Bus or Go Ahead with double decker capacity for this route would be much better. Integration with the short 90 fare would be ideal.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,058 ✭✭✭✭namloc1980

    There's at least one line on that map that doesn't have a corresponding route on the list for 2023. It's in east Cork from Midleton to Trabolgan.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,541 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    Effective Monday 13th February Northwest Busways ceased operating their commercial routes 952 and 957 from the Inishowen Peninsula to Derry.

    These have now been taken over as PSO routes by LocalLink Donegal Sligo Leitrim effective the same date.

  • Registered Users Posts: 229 ✭✭Ronald Binge Redux

    The 952 and 957 are being run for the time being by Foyle Coaches, the owner of the Northwest Busways brand, in the LocalLink white livery, until a tender process for a permanent operator takes place.

    It is still good news - fares have reduced and Leap can now be used on the routes for the first time.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    Just wanted to update on route 546 (Ballinsloe train station to Castlerea train station). The NTA engaged with me directly.

    The NTA initially disagreed with my assessment and defended their position, but in the end accepted my feedback and agreed to pass on to their Service Planning team.

    A few interesting points to note:

    Comment from NTA regarding "minimal level of service" guidelines.....

    Given the low demand along the corridor, the Authority, in consultation with Local Link Galway, decided to initially provide a Connecting Ireland minimum level of service on the corridor (3 services per day per direction). This is consistent with the guidance of the Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan Report (

    A reminder of my concerns:

    • There are zero bus connections at Ballinasloe to/from Galway with trains

    • There are 4 connections from Dublin which are missed by less than 30minutes - as in, the buses depart Ballinsloe or Castlerea stations as little as 15minutes before a train, full of passengers, stops at the station.

    • There are several connections to Dublin and Westport which are extremely tight (as low as 4minutes). After speaking to Galway Local Link office, my understanding is that the bus drivers have not specifically been advised to wait for a delayed train.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,701 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan

    I'd say coordinating with trains will be difficult for Local Link services. The buses generally run on country roads and through small towns with no bus priority, this means there is a lot of potential for delay. The bus would need to be timetabled with buffer time to avoid delays causing it to miss the train but it also needs to wait until after the train arrives to collect potential passengers getting off the train. That probably means the bus needs to be timetabled to be at the station for 30 minutes which would be a long time for passengers not using the station.

    Then you also have to consider the train times and what does being at the station for a particular train mean for the rest of the timetable? Like does being there for the first train of the day mean that the service isn't suitable for being in town to start work at 9am?

  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    Yes there are challenges to connecting buses with trains, but I don't think they are so large to overcome.

    My main issue is a new route launched connecting two train stations on different lines that is touted as Connected to Public Transport nodes, when in fact it's 100% not.

    In a first response the NTA stated the difficulties aligning with train times, but claimed the Ballinasloe trains to Galway were prioritised. In fact, the connection with Galway trains at Ballinasloe are the worst with zero suitable connections.

    After months of claimed consultation, I think the result is poor at best. My worry is these routes will struggle to be successful and risk being cut due to poor uptake.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    It's a valid concern and fair play for challenging them.

    In terms of meeting the trains, for the low frequency of services you would nearly need the train stations to be the terminus and the bus to arrive before the train is due and only leave after the train has left. That way it serves those getting on and off the train. Not sure how feasible it is

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,541 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    As I said before, the project is a work in progress.

    I suspect that the focus when launching route 546 was on providing a connection to allow people travel to and from Ballinasloe for a day’s work. And the service does just that.

    With a single bus and driver you are very limited in what can be done due to maximum driving hours.

    But I totally agree re the lack of connections - they shouldn’t have been touted as it is obviously nonsense, but it’s something that over time could be addressed.

    We have seen other services’ timetables revised over time, so I wouldn’t be too pessimistic yet.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,541 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    Developing services that feed into and out of train services is something that Local Link routes should be doing, but it’s a balancing act with local needs.

    It’s tricky when there is only one bus on the route.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,701 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan

    It's also possible that arranging buses around train times would mean that they are of little use to anybody else which would also lead to poor uptake.

    Aligning with a train only suits people along the section of the bus route served shortly before the train which is likely a small market, possibly smaller that the market for people using the services more generally.

  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    Two questions:

    1) who do you think are the likely users of this service? At only 3 times per day, it doesn't offer huge flexibility for job commuters. Is it more likely elderly and people going for shopping and leisure trips?

    ....if so, the risk of 15-20 delays (due to trains running late) should be acceptable? Surely, advertised connected bus-trains would bring more users to the service.

    2) do you know if the Connecting Ireland project has included specific reviews after, say 6months, to gather local feedback and improvements. would be a shame if these new routes become tick boxing exercises and once they're launched, they're forgotten about.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,541 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    Well the first service arrives into Ballinasloe for 08:30 and the last leaves Ballinasloe at around 17:15.

    That suits someone in a 9-5 (ish) job.

    The rest would be more ad hoc users.

    If adding rail connections, it becomes trickier - you will only frustrate regular commuters with delays - would you like to have a regular potential 15-20 minute delay on your commute?

    The required timings are unlikely to meet both markets with only one bus.

    Building rail connections on the other trips might be more feasible but again it’s not as straightforward as people might think.

    There may be possible connections with Citylink or Aircoach at Ballinasloe or Bus Éireann regional PSO services at Castlerea.

    Post edited by LXFlyer on

  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    Yes definitely, I think the Ballinasloe 9-5 commuter service could be maintained while adjusting the other ad-hoc services to connect better with trains. The route takes 1hr20mins and has only 3 departures each day, so they had a lot of wiggle room to create a better timetable.

    Let's leave this specific example - but my general view here is that these routes are being touted as something they are not. The standard commentary being used at each launch is massively over exaggerated and embellished by politicians.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,541 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    I think that your last comment is a bit unfair, as unless you’ve sat down and analysed every individual Local Link route and timetable, I don’t know how you can come to that conclusion (and I suspect that you may not have quite yet!).

    Most of the new routes are more frequent than the three services a day, but others are about establishing connections between local towns and places that have had little or no public transport before, or offer potential tourism opportunities. Take the Clifden to Carraroe service via Roundstone and Carna as an example.

    I wouldn’t let one single route colour your judgement!

  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    Yes sorry! It's just one example to be fair. I just hope they actually review these within next 6 months and don't just leave it as a box ticked route.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,541 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    Quarterly update number 2 has been published:

    Seems to be some slippage with not much happening in Q1 so far.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,161 ✭✭✭Citrus_8

    Why is there 239 Naas - Blanchardstown in the 2023 Q2 if it's already in service for a few years? Is there going to be any positive changes with this route?

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    LocalLink route 438 launched, serving the Galway to Tuam route

    Someone will have to explain to me why they inverted the compass for this map, confused the feck out of me for a bit. The Irish locality names don't help either, no idea what some of those places are

    Time table

    I have to be honest, the fact that this won't get into Galway city until after 9am is poor

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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,541 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    It’s covering the East Galway City Gaeltacht, hence the Irish names. The English names are:







    Agreed re the morning times - they are very odd to say the least.

    And as for the map. Best to say nothing! Woeful.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,523 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Official Languages Act means they're meant to only have the Irish place names; but they don't do that for the Donegal Gaeltacht services.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,541 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,541 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    A revised timetable was implemented on route 431 (Claremorris-Maam Cross-Carraroe at the end of April.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,541 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    A review of the first year of the implementation of Connecting Ireland was published in April.

    It does include a map of how the network will look at the end of the project.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,541 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    The timetable has now been changed to arrive into Galway prior to 09:00.

    Route 438 Tuam to Galway Timetable change

    Dear Customers,

    Ahead of the Route 438 Galway to Tuam launch date, we would like to inform you that, as a result of scheduling conflicts, it has become necessary to make amendments to the timetable for Route 438 Galway to Tuam.

    We have updated our website with the most up-to-date timetable for your convenience. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

    Thank you for your understanding.

  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    As a result of scheduling conflicts? They couldn't just say they did it wrong the first time!?

  • Registered Users Posts: 320 ✭✭TranslatorPS

    Considering that the service now does start and finish in Tuam rather than having those Headford-based in-service positioning trips, I have to wonder if there was in fact a scheduling conflict: "one company got too much work assigned" or "wrong company got it".

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    That's much better, an 8:30am arrival is a lot more useful

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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,541 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    It remains the same company operating the service. I would imagine that the change has more to do with the trial runs that the bus apparently did last week.

    Perhaps it was to do with the charge on the fully electric vehicle that is going to operate the route?

    It doesn’t really matter to be honest. The new schedule is better for anyone commuting to Galway.