Fine Gael TD for Kildare South Martin Heydon has welcomed the announcement this week of major plans for the integration of rural transport services.

“ I am well aware of the excellent services currently provided by South Kildare Community Transport and OK Transport in the Kildare/Offaly areas.  I have worked for some time for more integration to allow these services to be expanded into other areas of rural life including health and school transport”

“€200 million a year is spent across various state bodies on transport services in rural areas between the Rural Transport Programme, School Transport and HSE non-acute transport but with no official co-ordination between them.”

“The new plans, approved by Government, will see the integration of all state transport services in rural areas, based initially on up to six pilot areas, with a view to creating a more co-ordinated service nationally.”

“We are all well aware that the Government doesn’t have extra money to spend on transport services, so as a result we need to think more creatively and innovatively about how we use existing resources efficiently.  Ensuring that all agencies work together for a common goal should help to considerably improve services for rural dwellers” concluded Heydon.