The rollout of new bus services across 19 counties to bring people from rural areas to their local pub or village will do little to tackle rural isolation.

That’s according to Roscommon-Galway Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

The Minister for Transport Shane Ross yesterday confirmed a new 6-month pilot programme, which will see 50 bus services rolled out across 19 counties in a move aimed at tackling rural isolation.

None of the new services will operate in the western counties of Mayo, Galway, Roscommon or Sligo, but the Minister said the application process would be reopened if areas that have not applied for a route would like to apply.

However, Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice has accused Minister Ross of offering a sop to rural Ireland in promising these new bus services.

He also says the Minister is attempting to introduce new drink-driving legislation that will do little to improve road safety in rural Ireland – rather than improving defective roads, and increasing the number of Gardai in the Traffic division to enforce existing legislation….


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