Transport company Go-Ahead Ireland, which operates 30 bus routes in and around Dublin, will apologise to customers for recent service problems when its executives address the Oireachtas Committee on Transport later today.
In an opening statement to TDs and Senators, seen by RTÉ News, the company’s Managing Director Andrew Edwards will say that “we acknowledge there have been issues affecting our services. We apologise to customers who have been negatively affected”.
Mr Edwards cites “staff shortages” as a main reason for the issues, adding “the past two years have been extremely challenging for the transport sector”.
He explained that “our efforts to get drivers on the road over the past many months were hampered by an unavoidable external backlog in acquiring essential paperwork for commercial drivers”.
The Go-Ahead Ireland MD adds that a “cyber security incident” in September, which “impacted IT systems in the company’s bus businesses, including software used to schedule drivers and services. This came at a time of increasing service demands with schools and colleges returning”.
In his statement, Mr Edwards says Go-Ahead Ireland is addressing the problems, including recruiting 150 drivers over the past six months, with an additional 100 drivers “awaiting essential paperwork”.
Some of the paperwork backlog has been cleared with the assistance of the Road Transport Authority and this is “speeding-up parts of our recruitment drive”.
“Prior to 2020, and throughout the pandemic, it should be noted that Go-Ahead Ireland consistently met the service requirements under our agreed contractual agreements,” Mr Edwards concluded.
He says they “fully acknowledge” the service difficulties in “recent months” but the company is “absolutely committed” to addressing these issues as a matter of urgency.