Calls for equality of access to rural transport service

DUP MP Paul Girvan and Community Transport representatives meeting with Department for Infrastructure Permanent Secretary, Peter May.
DUP MP Paul Girvan and Community Transport representatives meeting with Department for Infrastructure Permanent Secretary, Peter May.

South Antrim MP Paul Girvan has welcomed the progress made on securing Community Transport services in Northern Ireland.

The DUP representative met with Peter May, Permanent Secretary for Infrastructure, as well as Community Transport representatives in Belfast last week.

The sustainability of Community Transport in Northern Ireland has recently been called into question due to funding, licencing and permit pressures. Part of the meeting was also dedicated to raising the concerns of churches and schools over a new licencing regime for volunteer mini-bus drivers.

Commenting on the meeting Mr Girvan said: “I was very happy to meet with the Permanent Secretary at the crucial time for Community Transport.

“Rural communities benefit enormously from the excellent and passionate work of Community Transport. It is of the utmost importance that this lifeline is maintained and improved so we can have equality of access to transport for those who call our countryside home.”

Mr Girvan added: “The representatives from Community Transport Northern Ireland as ever gave a valuable insight into the pressures that they are facing on a daily basis to keep their vehicles on the road.

“The Permanent Secretary indicated the department’s resolute willingness to investigate all avenues open to them to create a better environment for Community Transport going forward. This is to be strongly welcomed.”