Written answers

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Rural Transport Programme

Darren O'Rourke (Meath East, Sinn Fein)
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889. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when the national strategy for rural transport, Connecting Ireland, will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11610/20]

Photo of Shane RossShane Ross (Dublin Rathdown, Independent)
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As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.

In relation to policy, my Department is undertaking a Review ofSustainable Mobility Policy which includes the rural dimension.  The public consultation phase of the Review concluded on 28 February 2020. Issues relating to rural transport are being considered as part of the development of a new Sustainable Mobility Policy Statement.

In relation to actual services, it is the National Transport Authority (NTA) which 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 management of the Rural Transport Programme (RTP) which now operates under the Local Link brand.  

The NTA identified a requirement for a complete review of public transport services in non-urban markets, to inform its approach to rolling out improved public transport across the country (excluding the Greater Dublin Area, the other cities and large towns) and ultimately enable the NTA to present its vision for a countrywide connected, low-carbon, public transport network.

In light of the NTA's responsibilities for this review of services, I have referred your question to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days. 

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