19/12/2008

Cross-Border Transport Gets Green Light

The launch of a cross border rural transport pilot project in counties Fermanagh and Donegal has received a high-level boost.

The Northern Ireland Transport Minister Conor Murphy and his counterpart in the Irish Republic, Minister Noel Dempsey, have jointly welcomed the initiative.

The scheme will operate for one year and will help determine the need for cross border travel at local community level.

The first step of the pilot project will see transport being provided between Tullyhumman in Donegal and Pettigo in Fermanagh by means of a community social car scheme.

Other later services may involve routes from Ballyshannon to Enniskillen and Pettigo to Enniskillen, delivered by a co-ordinated taxi service.
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Conor Murphy said: "This pilot will provide cross border transport services. Current research along with work being carried out by services on the ground will help determine the level of need for cross border travel at a community level.

"The pilot will also identify the advantages of a cross -border rural community transport scheme which will help examine the need for further development."

Minister Noel Dempsey added: "The results of this pilot project will help us to build on the success of the Rural Transport Programme.

"It will help to clarify where cross-border rural transport needs are greatest so that scarce resources can be directed to the most needy areas.

"I look forward to further extensions to the pilot project and to reviewing the results after it concludes late in 2009," he said.

(BMcC/KMcA)

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