27 February 2023
By Elaine Murphy
Rory Jackson, Green Party rep, has warmly welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, of new bus services for Baltimore to Union Hall and the 270 Skibbereen to Killarney this morning.
The announcement was made by the Green Party leader at the launch of the Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan for 2023 in Tullamore, Co. Offaly. The new routes form part of a wider cohort of 67 new or enhanced bus services as part of the Green Party’s strategy to dramatically improve public transport in rural Ireland.
Welcoming the news, Rory Jackson said;
“It is wonderful to see this investment in public transport services in the Skibbereen area For too long, governments in Ireland have only catered for car-owners, but this is not viable or sustainable for everyone. Since taking office, we have been tireless in offering people real alternatives for getting around.
The Green Party has rolled up its sleeves and is investing in making it easier, safer and cheaper to travel around rural Ireland. The lives of ordinary people will be better off for years to come as a result of these decisions.”
The Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan was launched in October 2021. The plan identifies gaps in the public transport network in non-urban areas and proposes options to address these gaps. The push to increase rural routes comes on top of the Green Party’s success in cutting public transport fares by 20% until the end of 2023 and an additional 50% for those using a Young Travel card.
Today’s announcement marks an exciting few weeks of investment for investment in rural Ireland. Thursday saw Minister Ryan allocate €63m for the development of new Greenways as well as hundreds of millions of euro in funding for new bypasses to allow people enjoy their town centres once more without 24/7 car congestion.
Last fortnight, Minister Ryan also allocated €290m for 1,200 walking and cycling projects across the country.
Speaking at today’s launch, Minister Eamon Ryan, said:
“As Minister for Transport, one of my key priorities has been improving rural transport and we have already had success connecting towns and villages around Ireland. We want to build on this and go further to make travel by bus a real option for more people.
It is clear that when given the choice, many people choose public transport. Not only is it cheaper and more environmentally friendly, but we are making service more accessible, frequent and reliable. Public transport, both rural and urban, is a key to meeting Ireland’s climate goals.”