Minister Joe O’Brien welcomes plan to Increase Rural Transport

20th July, 2022

  • The revised 195 service connecting Ashbourne to Balbriggan will now operate seven days a week including a new regular Sunday and Bank Holiday service.

The plan to increase and improve rural transport, a key Green Party led commitment in the Programme for Government, took another important step forward this week with the publication of the 2022 Implementation Schedule for the Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan, which includes proposals for an enhanced bus route in Fingal, being the 195 service operating between Ashbourne and Balbriggan.

It signals the first year of Connecting Ireland funding as part of a €55 million Green Party led commitment in the Programme for Government to radically improve rural public transport.

This comes on the back of a 20% reduction in public transport fares introduced already this year, the first such reduction in 75 years, and a 50% reduction in travel for young adults (between 19 and 23). Early indications show a 10% increase in public transport uptake outside the greater Dublin area since costs were lowered.

Green Party Minister Joe O’Brien stated:

“We are committed to ensuring that we have a more affordable, more accessible, more efficient and more frequent rural public transport service. This first phase of the Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan sets out what can be achieved this year, as another vital initial step towards transforming the way people can get around this country over the coming year.”

“We have reduced transport fares, something we will work hard to continue, and now we are committed to increasing rural transport availability and frequency.”

Minister O’Brien added:

The revised 195 service will provide a greater and more convenient connection than ever before for the communities in Ashbourne, Garristown, Oldtown, Westpalstown, Ballyboughal, Naul and Balbriggan.  The enhanced weekend and bank holiday service will be of great benefit to these communities to travel for work or social purposes.”

The Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan is an ambitious programme of work to create a more integrated, accessible and sustainable public transport network for rural Ireland. The National Transport Authority (NTA) published Phase One of the Implementation Plan which includes an outline of the new routes that have already come into operation, routes that are to go into procurement, and routes that are expected to go into the planning and design phase.

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