Friday, 27 April 2007

Cullen accused of borrowed bus 'confidence trick'

YOU wait and wait for a bus and when one finally arrives you discover it has been borrowed!

Yesterday Transport Minister Martin Cullen was accused of taking part in a "crude attempt at a confidence trick" on the public after Bus Eireann unveiled plans to extend its fleet.

For the double-decker used in the publicity photo-shoot to launch the campaign in Dublin was borrowed from Northern bus company Translink.

Labour's transport spokesperson Roisin Shortall said the coach was covered in Bus Eireann stickers just for the occasion.

"Not since Ray Burke famously had trees planted in a housing estate prior to polling day - only to have them removed once the votes had been cast - has their been such an attempt at a crude confidence trick," she said.

But the claim was strongly rejected by Mr Cullen's department which described the suggestion of an attempt to dupe the public as "ridiculous".

Bus Eireann confirmed the bus had been borrowed from Translink for the occasion but also pointed out the coach had signs on both sides saying "Coach provided by Translink".

The company was tendering for 32 similar vehicles each costing around €460,000.

"The idea was to show the public the new type of coach we will be using," said a spokesperson.

Fergus Black
Irish Independent

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