An innovative Local Link bus service will be launched by Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys, on 19 December, to serve Cavan Town and its environs.
Consisting of two separate routes, C1 and C2, the new service is operated by Local Link Cavan Monaghan and serves Cavan Town and the nearby villages of Ballyhaise, Butlersbridge and Ballinagh.
Route C1 will call at Ballyhaise and Butlersbridge operating across town to Kilmore, with Route C2 calling at Ballinagh and Cavan General Hospital. Both routes will serve the town centre, each with eight services per day, and more on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Padraic Smyth Manager of Local Link Cavan Monaghan said: “What we see here, is a new approach to providing transport in areas where there is both a rural demand and a town-based demand. Typically, services in towns are operated by Bus Éireann or commercial operators, with Local Link operators looking after services in villages and rural hinterlands.
“Under this scheme however, Local Link Cavan Monaghan will be looking after both elements of local demand for bus-based public transport.
“This is the first time this approach has been taken in the country, and it represents a new departure both from the point of view of Local Link and the National Transport Authority.
“This new scheme is very much in line with the local transport needs identified by Cavan County Council, both in in their Age Friendly strategy and in their overall county transport plans.
“In addition, as a result of the frequency of arrivals and departures at places like the Bus Station and the Hospital, there is now real connectivity for passengers who want to transfer from one route to the other or on to the national network.
“Credit must go to the National Transport Authority for the confidence they have shown in Local Link Cavan Monaghan and for the support and encouragement they have given this initiative.”
Minister Humphreys said: “This innovative new service will make it much easier for people living in the villages of Ballyhaise, Butlersbridge and Ballinagh to get in and out of town. It’ll also provide those living on the outskirts of Cavan Town with an efficient local bus service.
“During the Celtic tiger period, many towns grow beyond their traditional boundaries, with houses built in areas where there were no public transport links. These two new services will go a long way towards addressing that gap in Cavan, to the benefit of those living and working locally.
“I would like to congratulate Local Link Cavan Monaghan and the NTA for the work they have done together in completing this project that will deliver real benefits for the travelling public in Cavan Town and its surrounds. This initiative is an excellent example of how local groups can work with national organisations to deliver the best results for their locality.
“As Minister with responsibility for Rural Affairs, I am very optimistic that this model will prove to be a flagship for the NTA and I hope it will lead to similar services being rolled out in other regional towns.”
NTA Chief Executive Officer Anne Graham said: “Providing a quality bus service for rural communities is an absolute priority for the NTA. Investment in Local Link services pays a significant dividend in terms of tackling rural isolation; improving economic and social connectivity for local communities; and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
“The work that we have done in partnership with Local Link operators around the country means that in terms of frequency and reliability, bus services for people in rural areas have never been better.
“But we will continue to improve the offering, and the innovative solution that has been brought about with the launch of these routes in Cavan, is indicative of the fresh thinking that the NTA is bringing to bear in rural areas.”