To ask the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport the discussions he has had with either Iarnród Éireann or Dublin Bus in relation to the reduction in service to north County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
REPLY: As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. I am not involved in the day-to-day operations of public transport.
The operation of public transport services by Iarnród Éireann and Dublin Bus is a matter for the respective companies, with oversight by the National Transport Authority (NTA).
In relation to bus services, the NTA recently advised that four more bus routes switched from Dublin Bus to Go-Ahead Ireland from Sunday, December 2nd, in a move that will provide improved services, not just on these routes, but in other parts of the network too.
In addition, the switchover of routes frees up resources, which has allowed the NTA to approve a programme of service improvements and modifications on Dublin Bus routes across the network.
Changes to the 33, which continue to be run by Dublin Bus, and the 33A, run by Go-Ahead Ireland, mean a combined 30-minute frequency all day every day between Skerries, Rush, Lusk and Swords. This represents a substantial improvement on the previous service level.
The frequency on Route 33A is significantly increased and for the first time connects Skerries, Rush and Lusk directly to Dublin Airport. Further interchange opportunities are available in Swords for onward travel to areas such as Donabate, Portrane and Malahide.
Route 33 continues south of Swords to provide direct services to destinations along Swords Road and Drumcondra Road to the city centre.
In relation to rail services, the NTA has advised that following changes to timetables in September, one commuter service in the morning peak period was subsequently re-timed to provide additional capacity in Portmarnock.
Further timetable changes, which were introduced on Sunday, December 9, provide for additional peak-time commuter services stopping at Portmarnock and new off-peak services on the northern line, the Maynooth line and Kildare line services through the Phoenix Park tunnel.