Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I read with a bit of shock the other day in the Sunday Independent an article about J.J Kavanagh coaches. For those of you that don’t know them, Kavanaghs are the largest private bus company in the state and run buses from Dublin to Limerick and around the midlands. He was talking about his business and his hope for expansion to the west. And mentioned that he had trouble expanding as he needs to get a licence to do it and that is hard to get. Also he needs to have get licences that can take 2 years. We want more public transport and we put these impediments in place. Crazy

The need for a licence would be to make sure that an operator can meet certain safety standards etc. Now considering that Kavanaghs operates a good few route and anyone who has taken them know are no cowboys. They run a good service that would suggest that they should not have much trouble meeting safety standards indeed considering they operate a few routes already they are deemed suitable for providing the service. So why the difficulty getting licences.

The only thing I can think of is that there is an attempt to keep Bus Eireann in its monopoly position or certainly to protect it from major competition forcing down prices. In the days when we are trying to cut emissions and get better public transport etc the fact that a good private operator can not start a route it believes the market suggests people want. Is just crazy.

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