It is crunch time for the Longford Rural Transport Programme (RTP) after Minister Alan Kelly announced a significant restructing plan, including a reduction in the number of companies delivering the programme nationwide from thirty-five to eighteen.
The implications of the Minister’s announcement will be discussed by all Rural Transport Network (RTN) stakeholders, including representatives from Longford RTP, next Monday, July 22 from 10am at a meeting in Portlaoise. The Minister has also been invited.
Almost 26,000 ‘door to door’ passenger journeys are completed locally each year under the programme.
Longford RTP is in place for over a decade and following a ‘leaked’ document last February on the future of the programme, it led to two public meetings being held.
A petition was also signed and it formed part of a submission when LCRL/County Longford Rural Transport delegates met with Minister Kelly in April.
RTN Chairperson Fiona O’Shea said it is imperative that the network continues to have an active role in the development of the parameters and guidelines for the programme.
She added, “Within this new proposal we recognise that there are challenges ahead in its implementation, the most obvious being the reduction in the number of companies and the associated consequences.”