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Public Transport

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (199)

Sorca Clarke


199. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Transport if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the National Transport Authority Connecting Ireland plan provides no public transport on R392 between Ballymahon, County Longford and Mullingar, County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61979/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for securing the provision of public passenger transport services nationally. The NTA also has national responsibility for integrated local and rural transport, including the Rural Transport Programme management, which operates under the TFI Local Link brand.

The Connecting Ireland plan is a major national public transport initiative developed by the NTA to increase public transport connectivity, particularly for people living outside the major cities and towns. It will significantly increase the number of routes and the frequency of existing services across the country.

The Deputy will be pleased to learn that Connecting Ireland proposes to expand the public transport network in rural areas specifically and to increase service levels. Under Connecting Ireland, the NTA proposes an overall increase of approximately 25% in rural bus services as part of the five year Connecting Ireland plan. As a result, hundreds of rural villages and areas will, for the first time, be served by a viable public transport link.

I joined the NTA to launch its Connecting Ireland consultation, which ran from 2 November 2021 to 10 December 2021. I urged everyone to review the NTA's proposals for their area and give their feedback to the NTA to guide the implementation of Connecting Ireland.

I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.