Ardee locals who use Bus Eireann services have endured seven days without any scheduled services – and there is no end in sight for customers who have been left stranded as the Bus Eireann workers strike looks set to continue into a second week.
2,200 CIE employees are taking part in the strike which means all Bus Eireann services, except school bus runs, have ceased.
All of Bus Eireann’s daily regional services which link Ardee to Drogheda, Dundalk and Monaghan have stopped during the strike. Both the 167 and 182/182A which provide links between Ardee and Drogheda, Dundalk, Carrickmacross and Monaghan have been affected – with these buses not running for this indefinite period.
These routes also provide local links between Ardee and Collon, Hunterstown, Tullyallen, Tallanstown and Louth Village – and the strike means that workers, students and those with hospital appointments or making visits have been left without a viable transport alternative.
Also affected by the strike will be the Expressway service from Dublin to Derry and Derry to Dublin which passes through Ardee on the bypass five times daily seven days a week.
Ardee services affected by Bus Eireann strike
- 167 – Ardee to Tallanstown, Louth Village, Dundalk
- 182/182A – Ardee to Monaghan, Carrickmacross, Collon, Tullyallen, Drogheda
- Expressway – Ardee to Dublin, Dublin Airport, Carrickmacross, Castleblayney, Monaghan, Derry
One local third level student who attends Carlow IT says the strike left her with no way of getting to college last Monday. Normally, she would take the Expressway service to Dublin Airport before travelling onto Carlow.
“There was only one other bus going to the Airport which was McGinley (Coaches, Inishown to Dublin) and they never showed up obviously because it was full,” she told ThisIsArdee.ie this week. “I’m in college in Carlow and it’s hard enough to get down there nevermind the buses being on strike! I spent five hours getting back down to college today – meaning I missed all of my lectures. It’s ridiculous.”
Some locals who have to attend appointments in Dundalk or Drogheda are having to pay taxi fares, much more expensive than the cost of taking a bus, leaving them out of pocket for making relatively short journeys for necessary medical appointments. A number of pupils who attend the National Learning Network programme in Dundalk have also missed days due to not having a travel alternative other than Bus Eireann services.
Local Independent councillor Jim Tenanty says that those people making journeys to hospital in Drogheda have been hit hard by the industrial action. “It’s people who have hospital appointments I feel sorry for. The service to the Lourdes hospital is fantastic, there’s nearly one every hour.”
Private services like McGinley’s and Collins Coaches continue to run their services, stopping in Ardee, despite the CIE strike action.
Local Sinn Fein TD Imelda Munster has been very vocal about the government’s failure to involve themselves in trying to resolve the strike between bus Eireann and the National Bus and Rail Union. “Tens of thousands of citizens have been left in the lurch since last Friday,” she said. “We need to invest in public transport and protect this vital service which so many people rely on.”