I thank the Cathaoirlaech for the opportunity to raise this issue, which is of particular concern in my own constituency, given the impact on commuters following the announcement by the Circle Line company that it will close. Will the Minister of State outline the implications of this decision for the area? Commuters in Lucan continually find themselves waiting lengthy periods at bus stops for business or trying to board buses that are full to capacity. The daily commute is very often difficult, tiresome, unsatisfactory and variable. Bus services need to be improved and the number of buses needs to be increased.
Transport legislation is creating a number of difficulties in the provision of additional bus routes. People were upset about the closure of the Circle Line company bus route as it was considered to be a valuable service and it generated employment. The routes were very helpful to commuters in the area. What is happening regarding bus services in the area? Dublin Bus needs, for example, to provide new services and to fill bus corridors, particularly in Clondalkin, which have been empty for a number of months.
I refer to the issue of competition in the market. The closure of the Circle Line company means commuters will not benefit from competition. What is the Government's response to the withdrawal of the company from this route? What does it intend to do to encourage and foster competition in the bus market? Does it agree Dublin Bus should provide new routes rather than chase competitors out of the market, as happened in this instance? When does it intend to license new buses that would cover the routes in the Lucan area? Clearly people will use the service if it is available in a reliable way. However, in recent weeks, following this company's closure, uncertainty has surrounded routes in the area and a service has been lost that was helpful to people. The question of whether the routes will be replaced by Dublin Bus is open.