Fianna Fáil councillor Sean Kelly believes the north side of the town of Dundalk is underserved by public transport options and has requested that the National Transport Authority look at the feasibility of introducing new town centre bus route serving the north of the town.
The councillor tabled a motion at Tuesday’s October meeting of the Dundalk Municipal District asking that members of the body write to the National Transport Authority and engage with them about the introduction of a new town centre bus route serving the north half of Dundalk, that would include the Armagh Road and estates like Lios Dubh, Lennon Melia and Coulter Place, the Newry Road, the Doylesfort Road, Dowdallshill, the Racecourse Road and Ath Lethan.
The motion also referenced that such a route would enable access to Dowdallshill Cemetery from the town centre.
The motion was welcomed by Sinn Féin councillor Edel Corrigan and Fianna Fáil’s Conor Keelan, although the latter requested that the feasibility of introducing Local Link services in some areas including the Armagh Road and more rural areas such as Kilcurry be looked at.
Cllr Kelly said that he was wary of complicating the motion and he wanted to focus solely on a “simple route” that serviced estates in the north of the town. Cathaoirleach Emma Coffey said it would be preferable to “have some services, rather than none.”
“We all acknowledge there is a need,” she added.
The current town service in Dundalk – the 174 and 174A – services Muirhevnamor, Bay Estate and Fatima, as well as the Castletown Road.
“This is one of the fastest growing parts of town and unlike others at Fatima, Coxes, Muirhevnamor and Bay Estate it has no regular bus service,” Cllr Kelly commented after Tuesday’s meeting.
“There are hundreds of children in this area attending primary and secondary schools in town who can only avail of a limited service at present and we also have a growing elderly population who need vital access to services in Dundalk.
“It would also give people in other parts of town a public transport link to Dowdallshill graveyard which we don’t have at the minute. It’s hoped that opening a line of dialogue with the National Transport Authority and councillors in Dundalk will give rise to the provision of such a service in future.’