Bus Eireann has done away with rest stops on the Donegal to Dublin express service.
A furious passenger, who regularly travels the route, told the Donegal Democrat/People’s Press that he felt humiliated when he had to ask the driver to stop so that he could go to the loo.
The man, who does not want to be named, said the restrooms at the Cavan bus stations were locked when the bus stopped there at 9pm.
The driver then told him that, since May 29, the bus service to Dublin has been non-stop, with no bathroom stops.
The driver pulled into a service station, but there was no toilet there. He stopped again in Belturbet, where the passenger was able to avail of the loo in the second pub he called into.
The passenger said: “Overall this was a humiliating experience in front of all the other passengers. It is humiliating to have to go up a driver and ask for something as basic as a bathroom break.
When he complained to customer services, the man was told their scheduling policy is that journeys under four hours have no scheduled bathroom stops. He said they told him passengers have to ask the driver to stop at a service station or a pub.
“I asked if they would review that policy and they told me the timetable was now finalised. I am quite sure I’m not the only person who finds that totally unacceptable.”
Bus Eireann response
Bus Eireann’s PR and Marketing Manager, Andrew McLindon, replied to our press query yesterday as follows.
“The timetable for Route 30 is continually under review and we do take on-board feedback from customers and are aware that the issue of access to toilet facilities on the route is an important concern to many customers at present.
“Although there are no breaks timetabled on the Route 30 service at present, there are toilet facilities available to customers at Cavan bus station and at Enniskillen and Ballyshannon, when these facilities are open.
“If such facilities are not open – for instance late at night or in the very early morning – our drivers will endeavour to stop at a roadside facility if a customer requests to use the toilet. Normally, these locations will have toilet facilities open, but the opening of toilets is matter for the roadside facility.”