Bus shelters coming to local villages

Bus shelters are to be installed in villages across Mullingar Kinnegad Municipal District over the next two months after funding was secured from the National Transport Authority (NTA).

The first two shelters are scheduled to be installed in Rochfortbridge next week. Two shelters will also be installed in both Coralstown and Clonmellon, while one shelter will be installed in the villages of Delvin, Killucan and Milltownpass.

The news has been welcomed Cllr Emily Wallace, who says that it is “very welcome news” for local commuters.

“We've all stood at bus stops and realised that our coats were not warm or waterproof enough.

“If we really want to get more people using public transport then we have to provide the proper facilities.

“When you think of older people who maybe no longer drive or equally students going to college, you have to provide suitable facilities for them. If you build it, they will come, that's the hope.”

This is the first phase of the roll-out of bus shelters from the NTA. Cllr Wallace says that other rural locations will be considered in the second phase.

Currently, the NTA's criteria stipulates that a location must be served by at least five buses a day to justify the installation of a shelter. Cllr Wallace says that rural communities that have less than five services should be included eventually.

“I hope it filters down to smaller villages that perhaps have three services a day. I don't think it's unrealistic to request that commuters living in these communities have access to bus shelters.”

Cllr Wallace also revealed that there are plans to install shelters at a number of locations in Mullingar, but that they won't be installed until the town's bus service is operational next year.

“This will give more clarity about where the shelters are needed,” she said.