Updated: 07/12/16 : 05:50:58
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Sligo braced in stark warning on bus route cuts

By Eugene McGloin
Political Editor

UNION CLAIMS that some bus services face abolition were confirmed by the Minister for Transport yesterday, Tuesday.

MInister Shane Ross quantified ''six to eight'' routes which could go if Bus Eireann's cash crisis continued.

Under Funding

The Minister warned Cabinet colleagues the company could become insolvent in two years.

However, Minister Ross did not deal with the specifics of repeated State under funding of services in Irish travel utilities. 

Government grants to the bus company for providing free transport to older people are based on a 40 years old funding model, for instance.

Meanwhile, bus users in Sligo town were briefed last week by the National Bus and Rail Workers Union  (NBRU) on possible cuts.

It was part of a nationwide campaign by the bus union to alert the general public.

University, Airport

The union briefings warned of cuts to the 64 service which serves Galway to Derry via Sligo.

Possible cuts to the 23 route, which links Sligo via Longford with Maynooth University and Dublin Airport, were also highlighted. See links below.

Both routes are part of Expressway, the national network which is blamed by Bus Eireann for its trading losses.

The bus company said in September it wants over 150 job cuts.

Compulsory redundancies have not been ruled out, the union said last week.

Critical State

Yesterday, Minister Ross told his Cabinet colleagues between six and eight of the least profitable routes may have to be cut.

He claimed this would be necessary to bridge the funding gap at the company.

The firm's finances reached a critical state in its financial situation, Minister Ross said.

A number of ''unpopular decisions'' may have to be made, Ministers heard.

Bus Éireann reported losses of up to €5.6 million last year, with €6 million losses projected this year.