Local Offaly TD, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, and Chairperson of the local rural transport committee today welcomed the clarification by Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, in respect of the Rural Transport Programme (RTP)
Deputy Corcoran Kennedy tabled a parliamentary question to Minister Varadkar in response to representations she had received from concerned users of the RTP who were fearful of rumours that the level of service provided by the programme would be greatly reduced and that there would be a reduction in the routes serviced.
Minister Varadkar said that The National Transport Authority (NTA) has responsibility for implementing the restructuring of the RTP announced on 9 July 2013. The purpose of the restructuring of the RTP is to protect the provision of rural transport services into the future.
“I am advised by the NTA that during the restructuring of the RTP, their priority is to ensure the uninterrupted continuation of existing RTP services, meeting the needs of those affected by social exclusion during this time of change. At the same time the NTA will examine existing contracted services to ensure that they are meeting current demands. Based on the current funding available, the NTA has no plans to modify or reduce specific services.”
Deputy Corcoran Kennedy has said that she is satisfied that there will be no change to the routes currently serviced by the Rural Transport Programme:
“I have been involved with the Rural Transport Programme since its inception and I have seen first-hand the profound difference it makes to the lives of the users. I hope that this clarification from Minister Varadkar puts an end to the scare-mongering that is happening in respect of the service at the moment”