Written answers

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Public Transport

Photo of Rose Conway-WalshRose Conway-Walsh (Mayo, Sinn Fein)
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70. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the draft Connecting Ireland plans in relation to counties Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Galway and Clare are entirely bus-based; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [62346/21]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.

It is the National Transport Authority (NTA) that 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 which operates under the TFI Local Link brand.

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

I joined the NTA to launch its Connecting Ireland consultation, which ran from 2nd November 2021 to 10th December 2021. The Deputy will be pleased to learn that Connecting Ireland proposes to specifically expand the public transport network in rural areas and to increase service levels. Under Connecting Ireland, the NTA is proposing an overall increase of approximately 25% in rural bus services as part of the five year Connecting Ireland plan. Hundreds of rural villages and areas will for the first time be served by a viable public transport link. I understand the plan also examines measures to improve bus-rail connectivity.

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.


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