Latest Laois News: Portlaoise loses key bus service
To date both Brian Stanley TD and Minister Sean Fleming have commented on the loss of the Bus Eireann ‘X12’ Bus service that serves Portlaoise. To see their responses click here in yesterday’s Laois People article. Now we have the response below from Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity Senator Pippa Hackett.
‘I realise the loss of the X12 is not good for Portlaoise and I will continue to seek better public transport services for the town. Unfortunately, it appears the X12 Expressway bus service was assessed as a Dublin-Limerick service, on which other services are available, rather than on the benefits it brought to Portlaoise. I have brought my concerns about this to the National Transport Authority and they pointed to the Dublin Coach Route 726, serving the Red Cow, and the JJ Kavanagh Route 735, which follows a similar route to the X12. Crucially, the decision to cut the X12 was a commercial one taken by Expressway and neither I nor the NTA is in a position to intervene with that.’
Ms. Hackett is one of three Ministers of State that sit in cabinet but don’t have voting rights, Hence she is termed a ‘Super Junior Minister’.Sean Fleming’s Ministerial portfolio of Minister of State at the Department of Finance does not give him a seat at the cabinet table however. The constituency of Laois/Offaly has ONE person sitting around the Cabinet table.
That our local Minister and Green Party Senator was not able to save this service in her own constituency while the ‘X8’ Dublin to Cork Expressway service, also operated by Bus Eireann, was reprieved at the last minute speaks volumes. That service stops in Cashel and one can have no doubt that the local Tipperary TD’s fought hard for the continuation of that service.
In Laois one wishes our representatives showed the same spirit and fight. It seems the attitude of successive governments is that the voters of Laois will always accept being bottom of the class and last to get anything. It is not so long ago we had two Mountmellick men who were Ministers in various Governments. That they failed spectacularly to get a by-pass for their own home town should have been cause for public protests at the very least. Unbelievably their failure to deliver did not harm them at the polling stations in election after election. So when grumbling about what Laois is not getting or what our county is losing examine who you placed your trust in at the ballot box. There is a connection between the two things.