Carlow Town has no funding for a bus service for the foreseeable future.
Councillors were told by the National Transport Authority (NTA) that the Government has not made funding available to roll out a new bus service for the town centre.
The NTA says they can’t give a definitive timeline for this service because we are in “unusual times”
Cllr Andrea Dalton says the information hasn’t come as a shock but she’s reassured that Carlow won’t be forgotten when resources allow, telling KCLR News “It wasn’t really news to us, we know we’ve been looking for a bus service for Carlow Town, we know it’s in the pipeline but at the moment there’s no funding there but I suppose you could turn it into good news to say that we are at the top of the list of priorities and the NTA gave us that assurance”.
She adds such a service will be needed more than ever should the merger between IT Carlow and Waterford IT go ahead forming the Technological University for the South East, noting “Please God we’ll have a university town from the 1st of January next year, we have a 1,000 at the Institute for Further Education, we’ve a second third-level college in Carlow College and we have a thousand students in Tyndall College as well and people from all over town travel to these institutions as well as from outside them so having a bus service is going to be phenomenal, it’s exactly what we need for about sustainability and getting people out of cars”.
And it seems while the funding update was disappointing, there’s something to look forward to as Cllr Dalton sums up by saying “We also I suppose got the good news that when we get it, it will be a fully electrified service, the fleet will be all-electric and will consist of five buses because there will be two on each route running at one time and then one as a spare in case of breakdown”.