Louth had been the only county in the Republic without a rural transport programme, but that is no longer the case.
Following on from indepth research during the early part of 2008 a three year rural transport plan was put together and submitted to Pobal for funding.
Funding of € 87,500 was received from Pobal and Department of Transport in July 2008. The rural transport programme aims to provide a communityled transport system which is flexible, accessible and affordable and complements any existing transport services.
The funding made it possible to appoint a transport coordinator, and in August 2008, Kevin Traynor, with a background in finance and transport, was appointed as Louth's first rural transport coordinator.
Five routes commenced in late November and early December in Omeath, Cooley / Carlingford, Kilkerley, Collon and Togher areas.
The response to these new services has been extremely positive, and this is shown by the fact that between November 2008 and February 2009 alone, over six hundred passengers have availed of the rural transport service.
Further funding of € 198,000 has now been allocated for 2009 and Louth Leader Partnership aims to maintain and increase passenger numbers on the existing services and also establish new routes in areas of most need.
Kevin Traynor stated: 'The services currently up and running could not have been possible without the support of local community activists from the peninsula in Cooley, Kilkerley, Collon, Togher, who helped me identify those would most benefit from rural transport provision in their respective areas.'
Kevin further added: 'As we plan a number of new routes I am working with community activists in other rural parts of the county with a view to rolling out additional services in April and May.'