McNulty voices support for Rural Transport Service

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Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

SDLP Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh has voiced his support for the retention of the Rural Transport Service and has called for Stormont officials to scrap the proposed introduction of new Operator and Driver Licensing Guidelines. 

McNulty attended a public meeting in Lisburn recently on the issue organised by the Community Transport Network. 



Speaking after the meeting Mr McNulty said, “Rural Transport is an essential service for the most vulnerable citizens in our society and the proposed changes put that service under threat. Service users depend on Rural Transport for everything from medical / hospital appointments to getting into town to shop or even just to social gatherings. 

“I firmly believe these new rules are a wrong interpretation of EU guidance and do not suit the us. Since 1967 operators of community minibus services such as Rural Transport have been given a special status so that they could operate for people who had no other way to get to the places they needed to go,” he continued.



“The Department for Infrastructure are seeking to take that special status away and they are proposing that drivers and community transport operators are licensed in a different way. This is nonsensical, I could see through it if the Department were offering a comprehensive service to rural communities through Translink, but they’re not.

“Rural Transport often reaches into parts of our community which have no access to other services, not just transport but health or community services. These services offer a lifeline to people who are in rural and isolated communities. 

McNulty added, “This service mostly helps our most vulnerable citizens and this is the Department of Infrastructure’s response. I am calling on Peter May, the Permanent Secretary at the Department of Infrastructure to withdraw these proposed changes immediately.”



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