Catherine McGarry who has campaigned for the bus service.

Carlanstown finally gets bus service

A NEW Dundalk to Mullingar bus route, which will service Carlanstown village, went into operation on Sunday.

The new 167 service links North Meath with both Mullingar and Dundalk and comes after years of campaigning for a bus link to Carlanstown.

There will be five buses per day in each direction, with the first bus leaving Carlanstown for Kells and Mullingar at 7.27 and the last bus at 19.18. The first bus will leave for Dundalk and Ardee at 7.26 and the last at 19.38.

Catherine McGarry, a local resident who campaigned for years for the services said she was pleased with the news.

"I am delighted that there is a bus at last," she said.

Mc McGarry said it may not be a help to young people trying to get to college in Dublin as the first bus isn't early enough.

"It is great to have the service though, because earlier buses and any problems can be teased out over time," she said.

"It is great for students travelling to college in Dundalk and it is great to have a service into Kells for people who want to go to the bank or post office," she said.

“The village is growing and we have a lot of commuters and students travelling to Dublin every day, and until now they had to drive or be driven to Kells to take public transport. “We were promised a bus service four years ago."

Deputy Thomas Byrne said that after “years of pushing and making the case for this new service”, he was pleased to have received confirmation from the NTA that both Carlanstown village and indeed the town of Kells will benefit from the new bus 167 service. “This new service has been long awaited and there have been many false dawns in the past. The new service will be of huge benefit to the local community in Carlanstown and Kells and indeed the rural areas in between. It will also enable any local students studying in Dundalk to commute daily. “As the local TD and along with Cllr Sean Drew and Cllr Paul McCabe we have been pushing for this new service for the past number of years together with many in the community. I’m very pleased to be able to deliver on previous commitments now that we are in Government.”

Cllr Sean Drew said a bus service for Carlanstown had been promised a long time. "It’s great to see that this new route will now deliver connectivity for residents, commuters, students, etc.

"Thanks to the local community for both their patience and representations to Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Bus Éireann on this issue. I must also thank Minister Thomas Byrne for his persistent and ongoing support in finally delivering this new service."

Cllr Paul McCabe also welcomed the announcement. "I'm very pleased that this new bus service will be commencing this weekend. It will link North Meath with a five times daily service to Dundalk and Mullingar and many villages in between. "I want to commend the local community in Carlanstown in particular for continuing to make the case for this service over the years. Their hard work and persistence is now paying off. "At a time when the national policy is directing us towards public transport, this is a definite step in the right direction. I also envisage this service to be very worthwhile to local students studying in Dundalk,“ he said.