June 27, 2023
Unreliable bus services must be addressed, as performance related penalties soar – Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport and Communications Martin Kenny TD has obtained figures which show the significant increase in performance related penalties between 2019 and 2022 faced by Go Ahead Ireland across some areas of Dublin city and county. 

These penalties are based on performance in three key areas; service quality, punctuality, and reliability. 
 
Speaking today, Deputy Kenny said, “The figures released to me substantiate the issues raised by the many concerned commuters who rely on these services daily right across Dublin/
 
“When these contracts were awarded to Go Ahead Ireland, they were awarded on the basis that they could meet factors set out by the NTA.  What I am hearing from commuters is that there are pockets of the Go Ahead service which are unreliable and chronically inconsistent. 
 
“In 2021, the overall fines imposed on Go Ahead for services operated across Dublin were approximately €437,057.  This rose to €3,050,839 in 2022 – an increase of just under 600% in one year alone. 
 
“I am advised that the main difficulty faced by Go Ahead is a backlog in licences being issued to drivers.  This is having a knock-on effect on reliability of service because if a driver is unable to attend for work, a service is subsequently cancelled as Go Ahead simply do not have a large pool of drivers. 
 
“However, that is cold comfort to the families, workers, tourists, and commuters who use these services to attend work, school, hospital appointments, and to explore the city in a carbon friendly way.  The service many of them are faced with has caused significant delays and, in some instances that I am aware of, people have missed appointments or exams because of the delays – or a bus simply not turning up.
 
“It is vital that the Minister immediately investigates the factors that are leading to these service disruptions, as simply fining a company who are working hard to provide a service is a pointless exercise.  We need to get to grips with the real factors causing the unreliability – some of which are bureaucratic hold-ups within agencies the Minister has responsibility for.”

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