BUS Eireann has been accused of selecting a “dangerous junction” for a new collection point on the Loop Head Peninsula that leaves two local secondary school students without a home collection.
Philippa Doherty has claimed there is no safe place to park her car at Crotty’s Cross as she waits for her son to be dropped off from a school bus coming from Kilkee Community College.
Crotty’s Cross is a small crossroads and the last junction before Loophead lighthouse on the Wild Atlantic Way, which attracts heavy tourist traffic.
“There is nowhere to pull in safely, one way is blind so you cannot see oncoming traffic and the bus should not be turning at this junction for safety reasons. The safest way for the bus is to continue down the L2000 from Crotty’s Cross down Fodera and back to Kilbaha village so the bus would not have to turn around at any point,” she explained.
She is being supported by Yvonne McNamara who recalled she was collecting her daughter, Caoimhe on a beautiful evening with good visibility when she attempted to do a manoeuvre she was forced to slam on her brakes after a “car came out of nowhere”.
“It is quite blind and to have all this extra traffic at this junction isn’t a great solution. While we are delighted the bus is coming up Kilbaha, if Bus Eireann changed this route two children living in Fodera would also be served.
“The bus has to turn on a major road that is the main route to the Loop Head Lighthouse, which will be very busy during the summer, particularly for the afternoon school pick up,” she said.
Seven families had to travel to a collection point last year and five of these are now being collected at home following a petition signed by local families.
Philippa Dohery has expressed her frustration over the difficulties she had encountered trying to make a change in the bus route for her son, Fionn.
“I am wholeheartedly disappointed that the new route is going to go from Kilbaha up the R487 as far as Crotty’s cross, turn around and travel back the same road to Kilbaha again, instead of continuing on from Crotty’s Cross on the L2000 down Fodera and return back to Kilbaha on the looped road, which would facilitate a home pickup for two students.
“My son is 3.3km from his previous pick up point at Kilbaha. He was over the threshold according to Bus Eireann guidelines of distance to travel to pick up point 3.2km and he should have been facilitated with a home pick up, which I have requested many times.
“It is unfair and discriminatory that the route has been amended to facilitate one student’s home pick up at Crotty’s Cross for the same reason and my son has been ignored when we can all easily be facilitated by tweaking the amended route,” she explained.
Yvonne McNamara outlined families are living in a triangle, and after adding 6.7 kilometres to the route, she believes Bus Eireann could easily resolve the current crux by adding just one additional kilometre to their journey.
“There are only two children from Fodera on a bus to Kilkee who are not being collected at home.”
While Bus Éireann cannot comment on any specific cases, a spokeswoman said it is the case that each school bus stop has been checked and approved by Bus Éireann School’s Inspector and there is no issue with
any safety concerns.
The referenced bus stop is within guidelines of a pick-up point on the existing route.