A new Report on Regional and Rural Transport was launched yesterday afternoon in the Hive, Carrick on Shannon as part of our work on the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Rural and Community Development, Senator Maura Hopkins has said.

Senator Hopkins stated “this report is important in identifying many of the challenges which exist in relation to rural transport. It sets out clear recommendations to address these deficits in rural transport and it is essential that these would be implemented”.   

“The report was completed following nine hearings over a number of months with stakeholders in the transport sector. Creating better connectivity is essential in order to allow for increased economic development of the West and reduce isolation for many people living in rural areas”.

“A number of the key recommendations include the need for increased funding and a rebalance of expenditure in road and public transport investment between east and west.

“The Local Link services should be expanded further as many rural areas do not have adequate access to such a service.”

“We also need to see insurance and regulation issues around community taxi services resolved in order to see initiatives such as this rolled out on a pilot basis.”

“It is necessary that we have improved train services which are available in early morning to late evening in order to accommodate the needs of commuters.”

Senator Hopkins concluded, “I am very aware of the many issues across this region in relation to road infrastructure and public transport and these are not issues we face in isolation. This report is important in setting out a framework to deliver enhanced transport services in our rural areas. I will be strongly emphasising to An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD. and Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD the need for this report to be implemented.”