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Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
on the buses

Transport Minister defends bus route privatisation plan

Around 10% of bus routes will be privatised.

THE NEW MINISTER for Transport says that privatising bus routes will give a better service to customers.

Paschal Donohoe has sent a letter to the heads of the National Bus and Rail Union, who have been vociferous in their opposition to privatisation.

In the letter, the Minister says that it was his belief that the National Transport Authority will put around 10% of the routes out to tender.

However, he says that Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus are not being privatised and “will not be over the lifetime of this government”.

He said that the purpose of the tendering was “to secure a better service for bus users at the same cost”.

Letter

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Letter 2

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He says that the 10% marks very little threat to the existing networks and can “improve efficiency. He adds that the staff of either company would be protected should they “not be successful in the competitive process”.

The NBRU’s Dermot O’Leary says that the union met the NTA on Wednesday and outlined their stance on staffing issues.

“Whilst we have agreed to attend at further engagements we would earnestly hope that the NTA would reflect on its position and realise that the pursuance of this policy will result in a bad deal for workers, commuters and the exchequer, maintaining a position of attacking our members jobs will inevitably lead to industrial conflict.”

Read: Protests called off as bus routes privatisation row heads to the LRC

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