Written answers

Thursday, 10 November 2022

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Public Transport

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail)
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21. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to ensure adequate resources are made available to the NTA to provide frequent, good-quality commuter services for approximately 100 km around Ireland's towns and cities with either a third level college or a major hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55045/22]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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I am very conscious of the need to connect our people and places across Ireland. It is important to provide access opportunities for all citizens to employment, education, healthcare or retail. This is especially true in rural and regional areas. Better connections to urban centres of scale can help to reverse the trend of stagnation in some rural areas and strengthen their role in the local economy.

To support this objective, in Budget 2022, I secured c. €538m of funding for Public Service Obligation (PSO) and Local Link services provided by State operators and under contract by the NTA this year. More recently, I secured €563m as part of the Budget 2023 negotiations for the continuation of these essential services.

One of the key plans for enhancing the existing transport network across Ireland is under my Department and the NTA's Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan which aimsto develop an integrated, accessible, and sustainable network of public transport offerings across Ireland.

As the Deputy will be aware, 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 Local link services and delivering the Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan.

At the moment, routes identified through the Connecting Ireland consultation process are being prioritised to provide emergency public transport services to areas where the population and transport demand has increased due to the requirement to house Ukrainian refugees in rural locations. This is being achieved by accelerating network improvements, including additional stops, route modifications, and more services to increase connectivity.


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