Republican News · Thursday 27 July 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Action needed on rural transport

Sinn Féin Cavan/Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has called for action from the government to provide better public transport in rural areas following a report which highlights the extent of disadvantage suffered by rural communities because of lack of access to transport.

Deputy Ó Caoláin was speaking at the opening on a new Bus Éireann station in Cavan town and the launch of a new higher frequency Cavan/Dublin bus service. He said:

``I welcome the new facilities and improved service from Bus Éireann. The launch comes on the day a report from Area Development Management Ltd. has highlighted the chronic lack of public transport for people living in rural areas. Outside cities and large towns people are effectively stranded unless they have accessto cars. The report has identified the `lack of a co-ordinated, focused

approach' to the problem of rural transport. This must be rectified immediately by the Minister for Public Enterprise Mary O'Rourke.

``She needs to greatly extend Bus Éireann's operations in rural Ireland. There is also a need for substantial government assistance for local communities who through voluntary effort are attempting to fill the huge gap in rural transport.

``The rural transport deficit is especially difficult for older people and

those with disabilities. Since becoming a member of the North Eastern Health

Board in June 1999 I have pressed for a transport service for those members of the

public having to attend specialist appointments at Navan and Drogheda hospitals

and to whom public and private transport is not currently available. Following my

representations a study is being carried out and is due to report in September.''

``The long-neglected problem of transport in rural Ireland is at last being

recognised. Decisive government action must now follow.''

Contents Page for this Issue
Reply to: Republican News