Kildare South Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon has confirmed that the new evening services of the local link Newbridge to Athy route have now commenced and will continue every Thursday Friday and Saturday evening on a pilot basis until the end of the year.

“When I first made my proposal last Autumn, for the extension of evening rural bus services around the country, to Transport Minister Shane Ross I wanted Kildare rural dwellers  to share in the benefit of increased connectivity. I was delighted yesterday (Thursday) to view the local link bus in action as it brought passengers from the first stop outside Dunnes Stores in Newbridge through Kildare town, Nurney, Kildangan, Kilberry and into Athy.

“The existing route now has additional services every Thursday Friday and Saturday evening departing Newbridge at 20.35 and 23.00 and departing Athy at 19.00 and 21.45.  This is a new service and I hope it will benefit those who wish to get out and about in the evenings.  As it is a pilot scheme, the more it is used, the better chance it has of being retained.

The timing of the routes are set to coincide with national train services and for staff at Kildare Village for when they finish work. Such are examples of the flexibility that our rural transport network provides local residents.

“I would encourage all those living along the route to try out the new evening services and ensure it is a success.  I strongly believe that our rural transport network has the potential to link many parts of rural Ireland and improve connectivity for rural dwellers around the country, if it is properly structured and resourced. These new evening routes are a great example of what can be achieved.