If the train service on the South Wexford Railway Line (Rosslare Hbr to Waterford) is discontinued a rail-replacement bus service is due to be implemented. In their quarterly performance report to the National Transport Authority, a document which any member of the public may view, Bus Éireann speak in glowing terms of this bus service which will give “Improved social and economic inclusion for the area of South Wexford.” (page 13).
At present there is a local bus from Waterford to Wexford at 945am every morning (except Sundays) which returns from Wexford mid-afternoon. Unlike its express counterpart on Route 40 which stays firmly on the N25, the cross-country route provides a crucial service to many villages and rural communities and serves different areas on different days. It allows people to travel into Wexford for a few hours for shopping, appointments and onward journeys.
However if the rail replacement bus service is introduced the present 945am bus will be replaced by a 10am departure which will no longer serve different areas on different days. It will operate via Campile and Wellingtonbridge every day leaving many villages and stretches of road without any bus service.
For instance at present on Fridays it serves Foulksmills, Raheen and Taghmon whereas on Saturdays it serves, inter alia, Clongeen and Rochestown. On Mondays and Thursdays it links Hook Peninsula communities such as Templetown, Tintern and Saltmills, to the county town. On Tuesdays it picks up in Carrig on Bannow, Rathangan, Baldwinstown and Bridgetown, bringing the locals to Wexford town, regular passangers on this service have been informed that this service will terminate when the train service terminates.
Under the plans it is apparent that Ballycullane will not only have lost its train service but also its Wednesdays-only bus service.
CIÉ need to take another look at their plans for public transport in South Co. Wexford. Their intent to close thirty-five miles of railway line and withdraw longstanding bus services from several rural communities are totally unacceptable.
(Special Thanks to Tanya Fenelon for this report)