Buses: route 509

On Sunday I participated in a community barbecue and rally protesting against the planned cruel axing of the Hope Street bus service. This service has been in existence for decades and is a vital lifeline for the many elderly residents who live in the area, providing them with access to shops, medical facilities and other key services. A couple of hundred people attended this event and expressed their deep concern about the potential loss of the bus service and their determination to fight the cuts.

Over 1300 signatures on petitions have now been received, with more coming in every day. At the rally we heard from people who rely on this service, including a 91-year-old local gentleman who is still living in the Hope Street house in which he was born. He said he would be forced to move if the bus service were cut because he would no longer be able to access the services he needs.

I have raised this matter on the adjournment with the Minister for Public Transport and received a very negative response which was dismissive of the community’s deep concerns about this issue and did not reflect its level of concern or needs.

I would like to pay tribute to local resident Shane McDermott, who has done a power of work in harnessing the community together to fight these cuts and launched a strong and effective campaign. The community will not let this issue go but will continue campaigning for the ongoing service that so many elderly residents rely on.

Hansard, 2013