Talks over bus link for health centre
Calls for service to primary care centre
Health Minister Simon Harris and Cllr Irene Winters are engaged in talks to provide a bus service to and from Wicklow Primary Health Care Centre.
Local Link launched the new 183 service in April, which operates a route from Glendalough, though Laragh, Roundwood, Ashford, Rathnew and into Wicklow town.
While Minister Harris welcomes the new Local Link route as a 'fantastic addition' to Wicklow's transport network, he would like to see the service further developed to also include the primary health care centre at Knockrobin in Wicklow town.
'Having had the route in operation for a number of months now, many people have highlighted ways that it could better service the community,' said Minister Harris.
'It would be useful to people throughout the catchment area if the bus provided access to our state-of-the-art Primary Care Centre in Wicklow town. At the moment, the service departs from Glendalough and collects/drops people off through Laragh, Roundwood, Ashford, and Rathnew. Once it reaches Wicklow town there are several stops, including the train station and County Buildings however it would be really helpful to people if it stopped and collected at the Primary Care Centre.
'I have written to Local Link, the National Transport Authority and the Minister for Transport to highlight the value of altering the route to include the Primary Care Centre. The Primary Care Centre is one of the central community facilities in Wicklow Town and I believe it would be really helpful to have our community transport service collect and drop off there,' said Minister Harris.
Cllr Irene Winters is hopeful that the Local Link route will service the primary healthcare centre in the future, similar to the Local Link services operating in Wexford town and Roscommon.
'Initially we tried to get the 133 to go to the healthcare centre but Bus Eireann said it would take too long and their bus was too big to go up there. Now we have the Local Link. The service they provide in Wexford town and Roscommon both go to the local healthcare centres. An awful lot of people need to go out to Wicklow Primary Health Care Centre. The 133 drops people a fair distance away and there is no public transport to the healthcare centre for people living in Ashford, Glenealy, Roundwood or Glendalough.
'I think providing another stop on the route would actually increase the usage of the Local Link service. The health centre is one of the most used public facilities in the area and the Local Link bus is small enough to be able to make the turn to go up as far as Wicklow Primary Healthcare Centre,' said Cllr Winters.