Gardai responsible for private operator bus stops

THE location of new bus stops by private bus operators is the responsibility of the garda authorities not the local authorities and it is causing some headaches for everybody, a meeting of the County Kildare Joint Policing Committee heard.

THE location of new bus stops by private bus operators is the responsibility of the garda authorities not the local authorities and it is causing some headaches for everybody, a meeting of the County Kildare Joint Policing Committee heard.

Garda Chief Superintendent Michael Byrnes spoke about the issue at the meeting on 30 April when the question of a private bus stop outside Kildare town was raised.

Cllr Suzanne Doyle said there is concern that the location of such private stops could negatively affect town centres.

While Gardai are the bus stop authority, Kildare County Council will be advised of any application, the meeting heard.

Such applications are subject to a number of considerations including pull in bays.

Cllr Doyle said bus stops should provide shelter. “People being dropped to bus stops are waiting in cars because of rain. But there is no facility for parking and this is causing congestion. To my mind, this is crazy,” she said.

Both she and Cllr Tony O’Donnell said everyone assumed bus stop planning was a local authority matter. Cllr O’Donnell said the Minister could delegate the matter to the local authorities.

A number of people had expressed their concern over the matter, he said.

Deputy Sean O’Fearghail said private bus operators were valued but he also said there were a number of near misses at a newly erected sign in Kildare.

At the same time, a long standing sign for Troytown, the first horse hospital in the country, was taken down and has not been given back. The reasons given for that was because it was a traffic hazard. “No one has hit this sign but there have been near misses at newly installed signs,” he said. CS Byrnes said there were hundreds of stops in the county. “Four have given me some heart failures,” he confessed.

In one case he allowed one on a main thoroughfare after the village was by-passed. “On a personal note,” he said, “a relative of mine would never talk to me if she had to walk 500m to get her bus.” There was difficulty with turning points, he said.