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Sinn Féin demands further investment in Rural Transport

24 November, 2004

Meath Sinn Féin Councillor Joe Reilly has today called on the Minister for Transport, Martin Cullen to provide an extra €2million for the Rural Transport Initiative. Mr. Reilly was responding to proposals from the Management Committee of Flexibus Meath Accessible Transport, which is one of the 34 projects that make up the Rural Transport Initiative.

Speaking in Meath today he said:

"The Rural Transport Initiative is an absolutely essential service for rural communities. It provides a transport service to people in isolated areas, allowing them regular access to services, employment and health care. Over the last ten months the Flexibus Meath Accessible Transport, which covers County Meath, have carried over 16,000 people on 18 daily and weekly service routes. More than half of their passengers have no alternative access to transport whatsoever and would not be able to get to local shops or the doctor without this service.

"While I welcome the €3 million allocated to the Rural Transport Initiative in the recently published Book of Estimates, it is clear that this is simply not enough. With this level of funding, they will not be able to sustain their current services, never mind being able to expand to meet demands.

"I will be contacting the Minister for Transport personally to demand a further •2 million for the Rural Transport Initiative." ENDS

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