Deering gets Assurance on Rural Transport.

4th March, 2013

Carlow TD Pat Deering has sought assurances from the Minister for Transport Alan Kelly TD, that there will be no reduction in Rural Transport Services as other options are looked at.

Speaking in the Dail last week Deputy Deering made a strong case for retaining the service in its current format. Carlow, Kilkenny and South Tipperary are currently alligned and the well know Ring-a-link service operates a first class service in the region. There are eight very efficient routes in County Carlow providing a much needed service to the most rural parts of the county.

“We all accept there is a need to examine all expenditure in these difficult times, however this €10m figure nationally is vital if the service is to be continued. One of the proposals on the table is to form a new region of Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford. These four counties have a combined rural population of more than 250,000 and I fear that such a large area would be very cumbersome. I would also be concerned if the delivery of this service is transferred to the local authorities who have no experience of dealing with this issue and I would be afraid that the valuable experience built up over the years would be lost.”

“I am very pleased that Minister Alan Kelly is totally committed to the service. He assured me that any change to the programme would not result in a reduction of the service and would continue to combat rural isolation and will enhance mobility , accessibility and community participation of local people, particularly those at risk of social exclusion. The Minister also said that he intends the Rural Transport Programme to become a permanent and lasting part of the public transport system.”