A recommendation by consultants Grant Thornton for Bus Éireann to shut down its loss-making Expressway service must be ‘fought tooth and nail’ to protect people in the Avondhu area who rely on the service to travel to and from Dublin.

Over 500 employees could lose their jobs nationally if Bus Éireann implements the recommendation as a cost saving measure.

Bus Éireann will formally present the Grant Thornton proposals to union next week, with the report saying the most viable option for the company is to shut down the service completely.

Locally, the X8 Cork to Dublin Airport serves Fermoy, Mitchelstown, Cahir and Cashel on its way to the capital and the airport. The route currently runs seven days a week.

Cllr Noel McCarthy told The Avondhu that he has received concerns from members of the public regarding the proposals to cease the service. “I’ll be fighting strongly against this, I’ll be bringing it up at County Hall at the first opportunity.”

“There’s no way that people in the Fermoy and Mitchelstown areas can do without this service.”

“It serves people going to Dublin airport, people going to college in Dublin and so on. It’s the only service we have now since Air Coach pulled out. We’ve no other service other than bus, there’s no rail service, so we’d be completely and utterly isolated if this service is curtailed or terminated

“You can go up to Cork and get the Air Coach directly to Dublin but that’s no good for Fermoy, because it doesn’t stop here. You still have to go to Cork and go back to Cork on the way down. If Bus Éireann do anything like that, it’d be another loss of a very vital service to the towns of Fermoy and Mitchelstown,” he said.