Following indications that Dublin Bus may re-route the 84 bus route, Students’ Union Campaigns and Communications Officer, Brendan Lacey, has stated that he will “put pressure on [Dublin Bus] to reverse the decision and show the support that’s behind the cause.”
The 84 currently operates between Newcastle, Co. Wicklow and UCD, and its re-routing could leave students commuting to UCD from towns such as Greystones and Kilcoole with no means of direct transport to college. It has been suggested that the 84 might instead run from Newcastle to Blackrock, where students would then have to find an alternative means of transport to reach UCD.
Lacey expressed his discontent regarding the matter, “I don’t like when any services are pulled like that. It serves the students using it. For some people it’s their only way of getting to UCD so we need to try and fight for it. There seems to be a big interest in it and Greystones County Council seem to have picked up on it as well, which is great to see them getting involved.”
The move follows the recent increase in fare prices as of January 1st 2012. Cash fares have increased by an average of fifteen per cent compared with 2011, whilst Leap Card fares have increased by an average of five per cent.
According to Greystones Councillor and UCD SU International officer, Stephen Stokes, the 84 route is a “vital service,” stating that “if you go past Greystones there are no other services to places like Kilcoole and Newcastle, so it would adversely affect those students.”
“I cycle to work but it’s not a possibility for people living out the route of the 84,” said Lacey, “I don’t think there are that many alternatives at the moment, which is part of the problem.”
Stokes stated that plans to withdraw the 84 altogether had been in motion since as early as last September. “I had two constituents, one of which is a UCD student, who told me of the plans and they were being told by Dublin Bus drivers. I actually contacted a middle-management contact I had in Dublin Bus and they confirmed that it was something that was being actively considered.”
“I put a motion before Greystones Town Council about two months ago calling on them to maintain the service and also to enhance certain things like the 84x time … they listened to the community I believe. They committed to, at the very least, having a consultation period, which they hadn’t done in the past. I’m hoping that they will take the concerns of students and also commuters on board.”
Dublin Bus were unavailable for comment on the matter.