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Tag Archives: Clare Accessible Transport

Mediator appointed in dispute between Clare Bus and NTA

THE National Transport Authority (NTA) has agreed to enter talks with Clare Bus in relation to payments the company believes it is owned for providing vital services in rural parts of the county. In correspondence to Deputy Joe Carey, NTA CEO Anne Graham confirmed that the authority has agreed to “enter into a mediation on the amount allegedly outstanding to Clare Bus”. The potential breakthrough in the long-running dispute comes as the NTA also confirmed that nine key local routes are being put out to tender in the coming days. The Fine Gael TD welcomed the positive development and urged Clare Bus to enter the tender process. “Hopefully this will be the beginning of a process that can finally see a resolution to this dispute and I hope the NTA and Clare Bus use the opportunity so this vital service is not lost to the communities it serves,” he said. The row over the payments has become one of the major roadblocks …

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Wheelchair users raise concerns about access to new Local Link services in Clare

A SOUTH Galway wheelchair user has voiced his concern about the accessibility of vehicles on Local Link routes currently, and called on Minister Shane Ross to “cop on” and return the service to Clare Bus. Séamus Ó Donnacha from Kinvara, who works for Clare Crusaders in Barefield, has been using a wheelchair for 15 years, said the nature of the accessible buses currently on the routes removed independence from passengers with disabilities, and literally left them “stuck at the back of the bus”. “To my knowledge, there are some accessible buses in the fleet which are able to cater for wheelchair users,” Mr Ó Donnacha outlined. “Clare Bus had low-floor buses which meant that someone could get straight onto the bus. Now, what we have are vehicles with tail lifts at the back. That means that wheelchair user needs to be helped on board, and they’re left there away from everyone else and can’t interact with others. That’s an upsetting …

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Crowe and colleagues raise Clare Bus issue in Dáil Éireann

THE issue of Clare Bus has been raised in Dáil Éireann, with three of the constituency’s TDs appealing directly to Minister Shane Ross to intervene in the dispute with the National Transport Authority (NTA), which resulted in new contractors being appointed to the rural transport service in March. Deputy Cathal Crowe outlined the importance of the service saying, “We are not a leafy suburb with DARTs and Luas trams going down through it. We rely very much on rural transport.” The Fianna Fáil TD described the dispute over funding as “shambolic” and, referring to the staff of Clare bus said, “They are the only group of workers I can think of in the State at present who have been made redundant, not by the Covid crisis but by Government body hard-balling.” In her maiden speech in Dáil Éireann, Sinn Féin TD, Violet-Anne Wynne asked, “Will the Minister also step up and engage an independent mediator to resolve contractual issues between …

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Transport Authority to meet local TDs over future of Clare Bus

A REMOTE meeting is to take place this afternoon (Thursday) between representatives of the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Clare’s four TDs, on the issue of Clare Bus. Deputy Cathal Crowe of Fianna Fáil confirmed that the teleconference will take place, but insisted that that the authority must also meet the operators, Clare Accessible Transport (CAT). “I welcome the offer of the NTA to meet with myself and my county colleagues this week,” said Deputy Crowe. “It will be an opportunity for us to seek some clarity on their plans for Clare Bus, as this saga has been going on for far, far too long now. But I am dismayed to see that they are continuing to refuse to meet representatives of Clare Bus. I have confirmed my attendance at the meeting and have also asked the NTA to arrange a meeting with Clare Bus themselves but will push their case anyway. I fully support Clare Accessible Transport being awarded …

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Plea for mediator in Clare Bus dispute with NTA

THE operators of Clare Bus are making a last-ditch effort to keep the company alive and have called on the National Transport Authority (NTA) to enter into mediation with a view to restoring its routes. At the end of March, following a dispute over funding, the NTA unveiled two new operators on 12 county-wide Local Link routes. Since then, Clare Bus has parked up its fleet and is using the government’s pandemic wage subsidy scheme to pay staff. Chairperson Ger Hoey described Clare Bus as being “cocooned” at the moment, but on stand-by to assist the East Clare Covid-19 Community Response. In a four-page letter to the NTA, seen by The Clare Champion, the board of Clare Accessible Transport (CAT) has asked NTA CEO Anne Graham for more time to sort out the financing row and has proposed that at mediator be appointed. The letter raises issues about financial arrears, the contractual framework and the accessibility of buses currently service …

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Dáil told of ‘loathsome’ timing of Clare Bus contract cut

MINISTER Simon Harris has undertaken to ask the minister for transport to engage with Clare’s Independent TD over the decision of the National Transport Authority (NTA) to terminate the contracts of Clare Bus. It follows an appeal by Deputy Michael McNamara who told fellow Dáil members that the timing of the NTA’s actions had been “loathsome”. “Just as the restrictions were introduced, [Clare Bus] had a contract for Local Link services, which was dropped by the National Transport Authority,” he said. “It’s one thing I think, we would all agree that private companies  shouldn’t use this as a cloak to break bad news and to do very Draconian things to staff members, but when the National Transport Authority does it, I think it’s a particularly loathsome thing to do… And, of course, for the staff who were protesting outside of this house last June, can’t protest. They can’t even protest at home in Clare because effectively, everybody’s locked down… I’ve …

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Clare Bus launches fundraising calendar

CLARE Accessible Transport recently changed its trading name to Clare Bus and has launched a 2014 calendar embracing the change. The transport company, which is based in Feakle but services all of Clare and South Galway, has launched the calendar as a means of getting the new name out there to the general public and also to help raise funds for the service. In doing so, it also aims to celebrate the work of local photographers and artists and features work by award-winning Clare Champion photographer John Kelly, Tim Moloney, Sean McInerney, Ruth O’Keefe and Linda Bonugli. Speaking about the initiative, Ger Hoey, chairperson of the board of Clare Bus, said this is the first time the company has produced a calendar and it is hoped it will not only create awareness but also raise funds to benefit service users. “The calendar was created to promote the new name Clare Bus but also to raise funds because we as a …

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