A new state-funded ‘drink-link’ bus will service 50 communities in rural Ireland.

Pub 1

 

Minister for Transport Shane Ross is due to announce the service this week which will help slash rates of drink driving across the country.

According to the Sunday Independent, the ‘drink-link’ will operate between 6-11pm mainly on weekends, ferrying punters to and from the pub.

 

The Minister will today unveil details of the plan he hopes will get more TDs on side with his clampdown on drink-driving.

Co Wexford and Co Kerry top the list of 19 counties set to benefit from the initiative, which will cost €450,000 for six months. If it is deemed a success, Mr Ross is likely to seek extra funding in next October’s Budget to expand the scheme.

Passengers will pay a nominal fee while travel pass holders and pensioners will travel for free.

In response to complaints from Fine Gael TDs about the effect tougher drink laws will have on rural Ireland, the minister tasked the National Transport Authority (NTA) with reviewing the Local Link service which is run under the Rural Transport Programme.

It subsequently drew up a list of suitable towns and villages for late night bus routes.

“The NTA has now approved funding for all 50 new services on a six-month trial basis,” Mr Ross confirmed.

“The services comprise 20 extensions to existing regular public transport routes and 30 demand responsive services, across 19 counties.

Iconic Irish Pub in Clonakilty County Cork Ireland

“They will add 188 new trips per week to the network of rural transport services nationally, and will run on average from 6pm to 11pm, typically on Friday and Saturday evenings.”

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Courtesy of Independent.ie

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