by Paul O’Malley
Bus Eireann has said staff shortages led to a high volume of service disruptions during the month of August.
This past Sunday, August 28, a total of 22 routes to and from locations in county Mayo were cancelled according to Bus Eireann.
The 421 bus service, which covers routes spanning Ballina, Claremorris, Swinford, Kiltimagh and Knock, had a total of eight services cancelled this past Sunday.
The 422 and 420 services covering Ballina-Castlebar-Headford and the 450 services covering Westport-Louisburgh-Dooagh, Achill experienced cancellations. The 52 from Ballina-Galway had two cancellations while the Expressway bus from Ballina to Dublin had three routes cancelled.
This weekend mirrored the previous one in terms of cancellations with 19 similar services cancelled on Sunday, August 21. Throughout the month of August, there have been a number of disruptions to Bus Eireann services in the county. A spokesperson for the company said the cancellation of services is arising from a shortage of drivers.
“Cancellation of services arise from a number of factors including driver unavailability, often at short notice and more recently difficulty in hiring contractors to support services. This has more impact at comparatively smaller depots, like Ballina. We are actively recruiting drivers in Ballina,” they said.
“We understand and regret the impact of cancellations on customers. For people who have pre-booked their Expressway tickets, they are also notified by a direct email sent to them, typically well in advance of travel, allowing them to make alternative arrangements and transferring to other services operating either side of their intended departure.”