Thursday, 19 June 1975
Dáil Eireann Debate
|Private Bus Companies||Bus Routes|
|Cassidy's Bus Service, Scotstown, County Monaghan.||Monaghan—Knockatallon.|
|Castlecomer Bus Service, Castlecomer, County Kilkenny.||Castlecomer—Carlow.|
|Castlecomer—Carlow via the Swan and Fairymount.|
|Castlecomer—Kilkenny via Ballyragget|
|O'Donoghue's Garage, Castletownbere, County Cork.||Castletownbere—Bantry.|
|J. Falvey, Glengarriff.||Castletownbere—Bantry.|
|Jackson's Coach Tours, Cavan.||Cavan, Longford.|
|B. Kavanagh & Sons, Urlingford, County Kilkenny.||Urlingford—Thurles.|
|M. Kavanagh, Tipperary.||Tipperary—Thurles.|
|J.J. Kavanagh, Urlingford, County Kilkenny.||Urlingford—Kilkenny.|
|Kenneally's Bus Services, Waterford.||Ferrybank—Grantstown.|
|Midland Bus Co., Ltd., Athlone.||Athlone—Mullingar.|
|Nolan's Bus Service, Callan, County Kilkenny.||Callan—Kilkenny.|
|St. Kevin's Bus Service, Roundwood, County Wicklow.||Glendalough—Dublin.|
|Suir Valley Omnibus Service, Fiddown, County Kilkenny.||Fiddown—Waterford.|
|Suirway Bus Service, Knockroe, County Waterford.||Waterford—Dunmore East.|
|Tuam Chamber of Commerce, Tuam, County Galway.||Tuam—Barnaderg.|
|Violet Bus Service, Blackrock, County Louth.||Dundalk—Blackrock.|
|Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway Co.||30 Routes in North County Donegal.|
Mr. Cunningham: asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he is aware that an old age pensioner who goes on a bus journey, part of which is in Northern Ireland, must pay for that part; and if he will ensure that such journeys will be free.
Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: Since its introduction in July, 1967, the free travel scheme has been confined to scheduled transport services within the State. It does not extend to journey stages within Northern Ireland to destinations there, but a qualified person can travel free on a cross-Border journey ending at a destination within the State.
Mr. Cunningham: Would the Minister agree that situations are occurring where persons entitled to free travel under the scheme, travelling from, say, Carndonagh to Letterkenny, must travel to Derry city by bus, change bus and continue the journey? One leg of the journey ends in Northern Ireland and the other leg of the journey begins in Northern Ireland. The persons concerned have not got free travel although their entire journey begins and ends in the Republic. The same would apply to persons entitled to free travel when they are travelling to Dublin.
Mr. Cunningham: On one public transport service they travel to Derry city. All of that is not free. Then they take a different bus operated by a different company from Derry city to Dublin and all that is not free. I am sure the Minister is not aware of these anomalies. Would he pass it on to the Minister?
Mr. Power: asked the Minister for Social Welfare if the free travel facilities enjoyed by pensioners in this country extend to other countries; and if free travel facilities are provided in this country for visiting pensioners from abroad.
Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: The free travel scheme administered by my Department covers all persons aged 67 or over who are permanently resident in the State and is confined to the scheduled transport services within the State of CIE and certain private transport companies.
Mr. Cunningham: British and Northern Ireland pensioners living in the State are entitled to free travel in the Republic. The Minister says this was the situation from the inception of the scheme in 1967. It can be improved. Could I suggest that the improvement should be that travel within the island should be covered by the free travel scheme and that the arrangement be reciprocal as between the Six-county area and the Republic?
Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: I know that the Minister for Social Welfare will be very sympathetic to any proposals for practical improvements that should be made in these services as he, of course, has been responsible for the most massive measure of improvements in these services carried out in the history of the State.
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