Fin­negan warns cus­tomers free travel could end soon

Bray People - - NEWS -

TRAVEL-PASS USERS on Bray's South­ern Cross Road fear that they may lose their en­ti­tle­ment to free travel on the only bus that serves their homes.

Eu­gene Fin­negan has writ­ten to res­i­dents of Bray ex­plain­ing that his pri­vate bus com­pany may be forced to stop ac­cept­ing passes at the end of April.

The South­ern Cross is one of the only ar­eas of Bray not served by Dublin Bus.

‘We re­ceive a very small pay­ment from the Depart­ment of So­cial Pro­tec­tion which in no way com­pen­sates us for the num­bers trav­el­ling on passes,' read the letter sent out last week. ‘In fact they pay us about 46 cents per trip. That is not per per­son, that's per trip.' The letter also urges res­i­dents to lobby their TDs to pre­vail on the Minis- ter for So­cial Pro­tec­tion Joan Bur­ton to in­ter­vene.

Res­i­dent of the area Lau­rence Smith, of Gilt­spur Heights, said that he and his wife as well as many oth­ers rely on the Fin­negan bus, as it is the only trans­port serv­ing the South­ern Cross. ‘We have to be able to use our passes,' he said. ‘ Why should we be the ones who have to lobby the TDs?'

Mr. Fin­negan said that the Gov­ern­ment has not rene­go­ti­ated the pay­ment terms of the scheme in five years.

‘We set up an ar­range­ment for the free travel scheme,' he said. ‘Peo­ple do have a right to be able to use their passes. We set a price based on an agreed level of user­ship based on a sur­vey that was car­ried out in 2006. Since then the num­bers us­ing the busses have in­creased, and the fares have in­creased in line with oth­ers.'

Mr. Fin­negan said that the Depart­ment has not agreed to a new sur­vey even though one was sup­posed to take place af­ter three years.

Fin­negan’s bus ser­vice.

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