Wicklow TD Jennifer Whitmore has called for a detailed update on the progress of Bus Connects for towns across Wicklow, focusing on plans for Bray and Greystones.
The initial plans for new bus corridors and additional services were announced for Wicklow in 2018, yet nearly six years later, much progress has yet to be made.
In a statement Deputy Whitmore said:
"I am very concerned that Wicklow has fallen off the radar for the National Transport Authority and Dublin Bus regarding Bus Connects. Since the initial publication and public consultation in 2018, there have only been a few meaningful updates provided, with the last one being in April 2022.
"I am calling on the Minister for Transport to direct the NTA to provide a dedicated update for delivery of Bus Connects for Wicklow, focusing on our major commuter hubs such as Bray, Greystones, and Wicklow Town.
"I was still a councillor when this all began. Six years later, we are still waiting to see many plans delivered. Bray and Greystones were earmarked for ambitious plans such as;
> The E1 from Ballywaltrim through Bray Main Street, City Centre and Northwood in Dublin.
> The L14 around Bray taking in the Full Southern Cross Road, Putland Road, Meath Road, Strand Road, DART Station and out to Palermo
> The L15 direct service between Bray and Enniskerry
> The L12 feeder bus from the current Ballywaltrim/Southern Cross Terminus to Bray DART.
> The L1 and L2 loop services to Greystones, Newcastle, Kilcoole, and Newtownmountkennedy.
> The X1 and X2 are to be continuations of morning peak services similar to the current 84x.
"We need an update on the progress of these routes and when people can expect them to be up and running. I am concerned that if people have been hearing about Bus Connects for so long but haven't yet been able to take advantage of it, we are wearing down support for public transport use.
"It is also worth noting that in the last few years, we have seen a huge amount of development in towns like Bray and Greystones and population growth across the county. It is reasonable that these would have been developed with these proposals in mind. However, many of these estates are now complete while the bus services are still not in place.
"As of the last census, 58,715 people travelled to work across Wicklow. Most of these drove to work.
Only 2,568 people were travelling by bus. We need to increase those numbers and see a clear roadmap for how we can deliver that.
"I have been in contact with Dublin Bus, the NTA and Bus Éireann regarding the provision of buses for Wicklow for years, and while there are always commitments to deliver in the next stage of the Bus Connects plan, it seems little progress is being made on the ground.
"I will be writing to the Minister and the NTA seeking this update and will continue to raise this issue for Bray and Greystones in the coming months."