Late night rural bus service planned for 15 counties to tackle isolation fears

A late night rural bus service is being planned for 15 counties.

The proposed extended service will be on existing routes while it is being piloted, and is under active consideration by the Transport Minister, Shane Ross.

Fine Gael has developed the plan with Local Link operators, which is overseen by the National Transport Authority.

Party Chairman Martin Heydon says it is about connecting rural communities and not just servicing rural pubs in the face of Shane Ross's tough new drink driving rules.

He said: "Well if you look at these rural bus services at present most of them finish at 3.30pm or 4.00pm in the day and that is an awful long time in the evening for people who live alone in areas that are quite isolated.

"The idea of this bus trip is about giving people in those areas, who don't have access to transport, that option of being able to go into their nearest town or village or perhaps visit neighbours in those areas.

"It is a lot more than just giving access to a local pub."

The 15 counties are: Cork, Kerry, Kildare, Limerick, Donegal, Waterford, Wexford, Laois, Offaly, Cavan, Monaghan, Westmeath, Longford, Meath and Tipperary.


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