Link proves essential to community in lockdown

Hitting the road: Alan O’Connell, General Manager, Local Link Kerry, Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Patrick O’Connor Scarteen and Donal Nelligan, Collins Coach Hire.
Pictures: Joe Hanley

THE Mayor of Kerry has paid tribute to the invaluable service being provided by Local Link Kerry bus operators and drivers throughout the county during the Covid-19 lockdown.

With buses operating from Ballylongford to Bonane and Barraduff to Brandon Point, and everywhere in between, Local Link Kerry services provide a very valuable service for those who need public transport to go about their daily lives.

Mayor Cllr Patrick O’Connor-Scarteen, praised those involved for the essential work they are doing in connecting communities.

“In many ways, the Local Link driver is an unsung hero to those who need to use public transport. The services are available for everybody, be it people going to work, families or students, and it will be for tourists and visitors alike when they start travelling to our beautiful county again,” he said.

“As Local Link Kerry contracts bus operators to provide their services, it is important to recognise the inward investment of over €1 million received from the National Transport Authority which is then paid to bus operators all over the county – that’s a huge investment in rural Kerry,” the mayor added.

Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Patrick O’Connor Scarteen and Donal Nelligan, Collins Coach Hire

Alan O’ Connell, General Manager with Local Link Kerry, said tribute must be paid to the drivers who are working every day on the frontline providing a service and keeping passengers safe.

“During this third lockdown, we have again seen some regular passengers cocooning or opting not to travel and drivers are collecting their shopping, prescriptions or meals-on-wheels and delivering it to their homes on the return leg of the bus service,” he pointed out.

Alan assured all passengers that they will continue to operate for essential journeys, During the Level 5 restrictions, buses will operate at 25 per cent of the normal seating capacity to

ensure that social distancing can be adhered to on board. On routes that require it, the seating size of the vehicle is being increased to meet the demand.

Drivers are carrying out additional cleaning of the vehicles, passengers must wear face coverings for the duration of their journey and each passenger is required to ensure hand sanitisation when embarking and disembarking.

  • Kerry Local Link door-to-door services must be pre-booked to guarantee a seat and passengers can do so by calling 066-7147002 and one of the experienced members of the Local Link team will be happy to assist them. For further information, inclusive of timetables, check out locallinkkerry.ie/timetables.