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NTA Announce Enhanced Services For Rural Bus Routes In Wicklow

In what is one of the most ambitious plans yet for rural transport, 67 new or enhanced Connecting Ireland bus services are proposed, strengthening existing services and connecting more towns and townlands across the state.

New and enhanced routes planned for Wicklow this year include:

  • 885 Sallins – Baltinglass
  • Bunclody to Dublin

Last year, Connecting Ireland delivered 38 new and enhanced bus services across various counties, bringing new bus services to 67 additional towns. 

In 2022 almost €4m was invested in implementing Connecting Ireland bus services, but this year that figure will double to €8.5m provided by the Department of Transport and NTA.

These services are provided on behalf of the NTA by 15 TFI Local Link offices nationwide.

Bus Éireann, will be a key partner in delivery of new Connecting Ireland services this year. Some 20 of the routes identified in the 2023 implementation plan are to be delivered by Bus Éireann. 

This is on top of the seven new and enhanced services they implemented last year, providing connectivity for 72 towns and villages and adding 1.7 million kilometres to the overall public transport network.

Response by customers to new services in rural Ireland has been very strong, with passenger numbers on buses returning to pre-Covid levels. This is particularly the case on TFI Local Link services in rural Ireland.

The annual passenger journey figure for 2019 was 2.5m.

Covid had a serious impact on passenger numbers in 2020 and 2021, but in 2022, they rose to 2.8m, a recovery of 112%. 

Weekly passenger numbers peaked at over 45,000 on weeks in November and December 2022, confirming people’s desire to use the improved and enhanced services.

More information can be found here 

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