Transport cuts would hit rural areas hardest - McAleer
Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer has raised concerns that cuts proposed by transport minister Danny Kennedy will have a particularly negative impact on rural areas.
Mr McAleer said;
"Danny Kennedy’s has proposed a reduction of services for community and rural transport.
"We received a briefing at today’s DRD committee meeting where senior Translink officials, including the Chief Executive, revealed that the company was starting a review and consultation exercise beginning with non-profit making services.
"They stated that the consultation would be ‘extensive and meaningful’ and will begin next week.
"I raised concerns that any reduction of services will leave many communities, particularly in rural areas such as the Sperrins, isolated.
"It would also have a disproportionate impact on older and vulnerable people.
"This is compounded by the proposed cut to rural transport, which is a lifeline for people in isolated areas to access essential services.
"Any decisions relating to future transport needs must be fully rural proofed. It is vital that political representatives and rural stakeholder organisations make a strong case to retain the public transport services currently available in rural areas.”