Latest Laois News: Local Green Party reps welcome Rural Transport Plan
Plan to bring public transport to rural villages is welcomed by Laois Offaly Greens
Laois Offaly Green Party representatives have welcomed the news that rural villages will have access to viable public transport for the first time under the Connecting Ireland Plan published today (29th October) for public consultation. This plan from the National Transport Authority (NTA) proposes an overall increase of 25% in rural bus services, significantly increasing public transport connectivity for people living outside major cities and towns.
‘I see this plan as transformational for Laois and Offaly, feeding into the Town Centres First agenda of revitalising our rural towns and improving connectivity. This is high on the Green Party as well as my personal agenda. This is another positive example of climate action, ahead of COP26 in Glasgow next week’ said Minister of State, Senator Pippa Hackett following the launch of the Plan.
In developing the Connecting Ireland Plan, the NTA engaged with a range of stakeholders including public bodies and state agencies. The next step will involve broader public consultation including information sessions with local authorities and the Oireachtas and public information webinars.
Cllr Mark Hackett, Green Party Councillor in the Edenderry LEA of County Offaly welcomed the news as ‘a positive step towards lessoning our car dependency through improved connectivity. For Edenderry, the proposed new bus route links Portarlington to Mullingar via Clonbullogue and Kinnegad. We will know more about the public consultation shortly and I encourage people to get involved as inclusion of all voices will be key to the success of this plan.‘
John Holland, Green Party Local Area Representative for Graiguecullen Portarlington welcomed the plan “This plan addresses the inconsistency of connectivity between different parts of the country. Sustainable transport is the future and I welcome that this plan, once implemented, will mean that 70% of those living outside of cities will have access to a public transport service that provides at least three return trips each weekday to a nearby town. This is very welcome progress.”