While I have not directly met with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport in relation to Local Link services, my officials have met with the National Transport Authority (NTA) in relation to Local Link. The NTA gave a presentation on Local Link services to the Monitoring Committee for the Action Plan for Rural Development in May of this year.
The Action Plan for Rural Development contains several actions related to improving access to rural transport, including through Local Link services. Progress Reports on the Action Plan are published twice yearly on all measures contained in the Action Plan and these are available at www.gov.ie/en/collection/b13c5f-progress-reports-action-plan-for-rural-development/.
My Department is currently developing the next phase of rural policy for Ireland, to succeed the Action Plan for Rural Development which reaches the end of its three-year lifecycle at the end of 2019.
The need for further integration of rural, regional and national public transport services to provide a comprehensive and reliable service to people who live, work and study in rural towns, villages and outlying areas was highlighted as part of the consultation process to inform the development of the new policy.
My Department will continue to engage across Government, including with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, to identify tangible policy measures for inclusion in the policy, including measures to further enhance access to transport services in rural areas.