Ministers get on board with £800,000 for rural transport

Minister ONeill  (right), Transport Minister Michelle McIlveen (left) and Seamus Davey, Chairman of Out & About Community Transport
Minister ONeill (right), Transport Minister Michelle McIlveen (left) and Seamus Davey, Chairman of Out & About Community Transport

Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill and Transport Minister Michelle McIlveen have delivered a Rural Community Transport Scheme.

Minister O’Neill allocated £800,000 to the scheme under her Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) Programme to enhance the provision of an effective and efficient community transport service for isolated rural communities. The scheme has been developed in partnership with the Department for Regional Development as a delivery partner.

She said: “I am delighted that I’ve been able to provide £800,000 under my TRPSI Programme to secure future community transport services for the most isolated of our rural dwellers.

“My funding has enabled the Rural Community Transport Partnerships (RCTPs) to invest in more efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles and take full ownership of vehicles currently leased.

“Transport and access are key issues facing our rural communities and I am delighted, through this scheme, to build on the ongoing support for rural transport, in partnership with DRD. Through my TRPSI Programme I have been providing funding to support the delivery of the Assisted Rural Travel Scheme (ARTS) since 2009 and this additional £800k shows my commitment to address rural access issues.”

Transport Minister Michelle McIlveen welcomed the capital funding provided by Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) to the Rural Community Transport Partnerships (RCTPs).

Minister McIlveen said: “I welcome the substantial capital funding that DARD have been able to provide to RCTPs to help with vehicle costs.

“This funding will have a direct impact on the level of service that each RCTP can provide to its members. It will also allow the funding provided by my department to go directly to providing front line services and reduce the social isolation experienced by many rural dwellers particularly the most vulnerable in our society.”