By Dan Walsh
There will be a 25% increase in the number of rural bus services over the next five years, under proposed plans published by the National Transport Authority (NTA) today, which seeks to increase public transport connectivity, particularly in areas outside of the country’s big cities and towns.
The extra routes proposed for Co. Wexford include:
Improved inter-urban bus services between Wexford and Dublin via Enniscorthy and Gorey.
Enhanced inter-urban bus services between Wexford and Waterford via New Ross
Enhanced inter-urban bus services between Wexford and Rosslare Strand / Harbour
Improved inter-urban bus services between Wexford and Portlaoise via Enniscorthy and Carlow
New local bus route from Oulart, Ballaghkeen and Ballymurn to both Wexford and Gorey
New local bus route from Bree, Ballyhogue and Killurin to both Wexford and Enniscorthy
New local bus route from Newbawn, Ballycullane and Ballyhack to Waterford (via Passage East Ferry)
The NTA said it intends to finalise its implementation plan during the first half of next year, before proceeding with the implementation in the second half of the year.
Anne Graham, Chief Executive of the NTA, said; “We know that for many people, living in a village or in a rural area can mean that accessing services, or employment, or education, or even retail is difficult if not impossible, without using a private car. We want to change that.”
Speaking at the launch, Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan T.D. said the plan represents a ‘step-change’ for rural Ireland. “If we are to deliver on our emissions targets, we need to make sure that people have the services and alternatives they need. Hundreds of rural villages and areas will for the first time will be served by a viable public transport link,” he added.