Local Link Sligo/Leitrim/Roscommon, the new Transport Co-ordination Unit (TCU) for this area was launched at the Leitrim County Council offices in Carrick-on-Shannon on Monday last.
The initiative is a rural transport service which will serve each of the three counties and replaces the old Rural Transport Programme which was phased out in January of this year. The SLR TCU is one of 17 such services established by the National Transport Authority since the old transport programme was dissolved.
The service is open to anyone living in an area which is not covered by regular local transport and will provide a range of transport services, the majority of which are house to house demand responsive and wheelchair accessible.
Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Rural Economic Development and Rural Transport, Anne Phelan TD was in attendance to assist with the launch. Addressing the crowd, Ms Phelan said the introduction of the new service was another milestone in rebuilding the old rural transport programme.
Deputy Phelan said that the affairs surrounding rural transport in counties Leitrim, Sligo and Roscommon were as important as issues such as that of rural broadband. “Whether it’s an elderly person collecting their pension or someone going for messages, it can be difficult for anyone without regular transport to get around.”
The TCU employs five people in their Carrick-on-Shannon based offices which are located behind Aras an Chontae. Manager of the TCU, Camilla Kelly explained that the role of the TCU is to “supply safe transport to the needs of people across the three neighbouring counties”.
“People in rural Ireland are very concerned at the closure of rural post offices and banks in smaller towns and that access to these essential services are at a remove from the local to the larger town areas. Rural transport plays an important part in providing a vital link to these services.”
For more information on the rural transport service, call 071-9650437 during business hours or visit locallink.ie