Bus Éireann has defended a decision to cease a number of dedicated school bus services in Galway from the end of the month.

The company says morning and afternoon services from the Westside area of the city to Claddagh will end on 28 October.

An afternoon service from a school in Salthill to the Knocknacarra area will also end on the same date.

A service that carried workers from Knocknacarra to Ballybrit is also being discontinued.

Local representatives have criticised the decision, saying it will add to traffic congestion and cause huge inconvenience for children and their parents.

Independent City Councillor Mike Cubbard described the decision as "outrageous" and said it made a mockery of a transport strategy for Galway city.

But Bus Éireann says the services in question have been operating outside of regular, scheduled routes in the city.

None are funded under the Department of Education's school transport scheme and they do not fall under the firm's public service contract.

In a statement, Bus Éireann said the services could no longer operate when there is alternative transport available on the regular city network.

The company says there has been a significant restructuring of routes and services in recent years, which has led to a 50% increase in journeys.

It is understood the services being discontinued are loss-making and have operated outside the regular schedule for more than 25 years.

The National Transport Authority says that the services in question do not fall under its remit.