Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority. Photo: Gerard McCarthy

10 enhanced rural bus service routes proposed

A new transport plan launched recently could see 67 new or enhanced bus services established, 10 of which would travel through Cork.

Called Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan for 2023, it was launched by the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD, with the National Transport Authority (NTA) and it’s hoped that the proposed new services will connect more towns and townlands across the country.

New or enhanced routes planned for county Cork this year include:

•Dursey Sound –Kilcrohane

•Ennis – Whitegate

• Youghal – Dungarvan via Villierstown

• Youghal – Dungarvan via Ardmore

• Skibbereen – Killarney

• Macroom – Cork

• Mallow – Fermoy – Lismore

• Cork – Bandon

• Baltimore – Union Hall

• Newmarket – Cork

Minister Ryan said: “Massively improving rural transport is one of my key priorities as Minister for Transport. The Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan, launched in 2021, has already played a key role in towns and villages across Ireland and providing people with new choices to travel by bus. But now, we want to go further and build on that success with many more new and enhanced routes planned for 2023.

“It’s clear that when you build it, they will come. We know from last year’s statistics that people respond positively to new routes and services, backed up by our new cheaper fares. Young people, in particular, are choosing to use public transport more which is great. It’s more convenient, it’s more accessible and frequent than it’s been and it’s cheaper than driving and paying for a parking spot all day in college or school. The more people choose public transport the better it is for our environment as well. Public transport, both rural and urban, is a key to Ireland meeting our emissions targets.”

Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “NTA is proud to launch our Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan for implementation in 2023, which will deliver better access to safe, reliable, and more frequent bus services connecting towns and villages.

“The NTA is continuing its efforts to improve rural bus services by identifying areas that require additional services, and we are committed to continuing to develop connectivity and mobility in rural areas through the phased rollout of new and enhanced bus services this year and in future years.”

Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority. Photo: Gerard McCarthy