- National 25% increase in rural bus services proposed
- Several key Clare routes namechecked
Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe is urging people living across the Banner County to have their say in the public consultation period of the National Transport Authority’s Connecting Ireland plan.
The plan proposes a 25% increase in rural bus services in Ireland over the course of five years, highlighting a number of key routes and areas of Clare.
“It is very encouraging to see the National Transport Authority recognise and recommend changes that are needed in terms of the provision of rural transport in Ireland,” said Deputy Crowe.
“Clare is a largely rural county and for those who don’t have access to a car, or who used to but cannot now drive, it’s incredibly isolating to be cut off from our towns and cities.
“We’ve seen far too many cuts to our public transport routes so to have formal recognition for the need to increase the provision of rural transport is most, most welcome.
“In terms of specific changes looked at in our county, I’m extremely glad to see that the NTA is recommending enhanced local services between Lahinch and Kilkee; from Kilrush and Killimer and Ennis; between Sixmilebridge, Limerick and Shannon as well as between Scariff, Killaloe, Ballycannon and Limerick.
“Our position as a county slotted between two major cities has also been recognised, with the NTA targeting Ennis and Galway and Limerick, but moreover onwards to Cork too.
“In terms of other urban centres, there’s also the suggestion to link Ennis with Portumna, Ballinasloe and Nenagh, taking in a number of villages en route, while Shannon Airport’s importance has been namechecked by ensuring increased services between the airport and the region’s main cities.
“Clare’s rural status has seen decades of depopulation and the demise of local services but the past 18 months has shown us how beneficial rural living can be.
“With a significant move towards working from home, as well as increased transport links and other necessary services, I am confident that rural Clare has a buoyant future coming down the tracks.
“I would encourage all who have a vested interest in our county to have their say on the Connecting Ireland plan by logging onto the NTA’s website.”