Revealed: The 50 bus routes under new 'drink link' plan for rural Ireland
The routes in the 19 counties set to benefit from a new, dedicated rural transport link can be revealed by Independent.ie
Transport Minister Shane Ross will today unveil details of the plan he hopes will get more TDs on side with his clampdown on drink-driving.
Details of the 50 routes across 19 counties show that Co Wexford and Co Kerry top the list of 19 counties set to benefit from the initiative, which will cost €450,000 for six months. If it is deemed a success, Mr Ross is likely to seek extra funding in next October's Budget to expand the scheme.
Passengers will pay a nominal fee while travel pass holders and pensioners will travel for free.
Wexford has a total of 12 routes - the most in any county, while there are eight different routes in Kerry.
Other counties to benefit are: Carlow/Kilkenny/Wicklow (six routes), Cavan/Monaghan (5), Donegal (4), Laois/Offaly (3), Cork (3), Waterford (3), Louth/Meath/Fingal (2), Tipperary (2) and Kildare (1).
However, a number of counties have no routes planned as part of the 50 new service routes that will be run on a 12-month trial basis.
In response to complaints from Fine Gael TDs about the effect tougher drink laws will have on rural Ireland, the minister tasked the National Transport Authority (NTA) with reviewing the Local Link service which is run under the Rural Transport Programme.