Dublin Bus routes 68 and 69 have been saved after 5 months of campaigning by the community. The victory shows how people power can save our services. When Dublin Bus announced changes to the 68 and 69 bus in December 2010 people in Rathcoole, Newcastle and Clondalkin were outraged about the changes leaving them without a direct service to the city centre. More than 200 people attended meetings organised by local Councillor Gino Kenny (People Before Profit Alliance) and Rathcoole Community Council.
Following the meetings petitions were taken up and thousands of signatures collected opposing the cuts. There was also a protest held at Clondalkin library where Dublin Bus’s consultation was taking place.
On the 2nd June Councillor Gino Kenny received an e-mail from Dublin Bus stating that ‘…Routes 68 and 69 will continue to link both Rathcoole and Newcastle to the City Centre.’ There will be changes to the routing of the 68 ‘…as follows: Newcastle , Cherrywood, Ninth Lock, Clondalkin Village , Monastery Road , Naas Road , Emmet Road, South Circular Road, Leonard’s Corner, Camden Street, South Great George’s Street and terminating at Hawkins Street’. The 69 will continue as is, though there will be ‘…a revised timetable that will be more reliable.’
This is a great victory for the people of Rathcoole, Newcastle and Clondalkin who put pressure on Dublin Bus through petitions, protests and individual objections. The good news also come at the same time as a co-ordinated city-wide campaign is launched in an attempt to save bus services across the city. In Dun Laoghaire and Rialto there have already been protests organised, and on Saturday 11th June a larger number of affected areas will be protesting.
Local Councillor Gino Kenny said: ‘This is a victory for People Power. It is great news for those in Rathcoole, Newcastle and Clondalkin who depend on the 68 and 69 service. The decision by Dublin Bus to keep the routes proves that by getting organised and fighting back we can win and keep our services. And we are not finished yet, the 210 is still being removed and changes to the 51b/c will affect many people in the Clondalkin area. We will be protesting at 2pm outside the Civic Centre in Clondalkin on Saturday 11th June in conjunction with protests in other areas.’