15th January, 2014

Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has encouraged community groups in isolated areas to start applying for the newly introduced: ‘Local Area Hackney License’ or ‘Rural Hackney’ license.

The licence, which is designed to facilitate low-cost entry into the taxi sector for isolated rural areas, will cost just €70 between the vehicle and drivers’ licence and will be introduced on a pilot basis. Applications can now be made to the National Transport Authority but areas or community groups seeking one will have to demonstrate a transport (NTA) deficit for their area. An information note has been published on the website of the NTA.

Applicants for the license will be required to be sanctioned by a local business or community group and need to demonstrate that their area has a deficit of public transport and taxi services. This will require the approval of the local authority.

“Access to public transport is a major problem in rural Ireland. Many isolated people in rural communities are unable to access their local services because of their remoteness. The current taxi regulation system has not been designed for isolated areas of rural Ireland. The recommendation for a low-cost hackney license for rural areas came from the Government’s taxi regulation review. Hopefully this scheme will provide people with ‘social mobility’ and give people a means of accessing shops, health services and local social events,”