Thursday, 11 February 2021

Questions (25)

Martin Browne

Question:

25. Deputy Martin Browne asked the Minister for Transport his plans to provide a further extension of temporary emergency support for the commercial bus sector via the commercial bus operator direct award contract, which includes Expressway services once the current three-month extension expires; and his views on the importance of this funding for the continuation of the X8 Expressway service for County Tipperary. [7474/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The position remains as outlined in my response to the Deputy on the 3rd February 2021 - PQ 5016/21.

On 26 January 2021, Government agreed to extend the temporary funding supports for the licensed bus sector for a further period of 3 months, with an option to extend contracts on a monthly basis thereafter. I very much welcome the extension of these supports which are in addition to the suite of other financial support measures that the Government has introduced including the pandemic unemployment payment and the CRSS.

Concerning the X8 Cork/Dublin Route operated by Bus Éireann as part of its commercial Expressway business - no cessation date has been confirmed by the company for this route and it continues to operate with the Government's temporary funding supports, albeit at a reduced service-level in line with the reduction in demand. The NTA are currently undertaking an examination of the route corridor to ensure there are no gaps in the network, and to assess if there would be a need to provide any additional services when the Expressway service ceases. I am assured that this will be done prior to these services ceasing operation.