The County Limerick and North Cork Transport Group and the National Transport Authority (NTA) have signed the funding agreement relating to the operation of Transport Coordination Unit (TCU) functions covering the Limerick and Clare areas.
Now known as Local Link Limerick Clare, the voluntary, not-for-profit, community organisation was last month selected as preferred bidder under a competitive public procurement process, involving a detailed assessment of price and quality, to deliver rural transport programme coordination services in the region for the next four years.
Chairperson of Local Link Limerick Clare, David O’Grady, said “We are delighted to have been successful in securing this new agreement from the NTA and are looking forward to working with them and local transport providers in Limerick and Clare in a professional and productive way to respond to local transport needs and the enhancement and development of new services for communities and visitors to the Limerick-Clare region.”
“Over the past 17 years of operation, our organisation, in addition to providing regular and demand responsive transport for individuals, and in association with our bus contract partners, has added value to local communities and groups through programmes targeting disadvantage and exclusion such as the Social Inclusion & Community Activation Programme (SICAP), Towards Occupation and Ability programmes, Local Training Initiatives (LTIs), Community Childcare and Work Activation Schemes. We look forward to continuing and increasing service development with the support of the region’s community groups and interest networks, local development companies, local authorities, education and training bodies, and the health, child and family agencies” he added.
Manager of Local Link Limerick Clare, Anne Gaughan, outlined that the provisions of the Limerick Clare TCU funding agreement, will now begin to increase service levels on the RTP bus routes in Limerick and Clare.
“We welcome the new opportunity to support transport coordination and provision in the region. Local Link Limerick Clare has a strong commitment to social inclusion and accessibility. Passengers served by current routes and services in Clare will continue to be provided for and we will be working closely with the NTA and operators to ensure continuity.
In partnership with the NTA, Local Link Limerick Clare will be exploring new rural transport bus routes and new initiatives such as the Community Car Scheme and the proposed Local Area Hackney Model.
The anticipated new services will build on the organisation’s reported service numbers for Limerick in 2018 of 108,916 passenger journeys completed through the programme and rural regular services with 26,831 of those journeys provided for Free Travel Passengers. This was through 12,530 service trips and 293,027 kilometres travelled by 28 bus operators who in turn are providing local employment for up to 215 drivers.
Ms Gaughan concluded by stating that with 55,000 passenger journeys reported through the programme in Clare last year, the demand for rural, public transport provision continues to grow and Local Link Limerick Clare will be making the case for the appropriate resources from Government to respond to the needs on the ground.
Further information on Local Link Limerick Clare see www.locallink.ie/en/your-local-link/limerick-clare or call tel. 069-22311