Aontú leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has unearthed the shocking fact that Meath is second from the bottom in terms of Rural Transport investment per capita in Ireland.
He told Meath Live, “This is shocking on one level however it does not surprise me on another. Meath is at the bottom of the investment ladder in practically every single investment metric there is in the state. From Local Authority investment to the number of Gardaí, or even mental health investment we are radically underfunded in contrast to other counties. This happens simply because our public representatives are not representing us properly at the cabinet table.
“Given that we have been underfunded to such a level over the last five years it is absolutely shocking that the funding for a whole raft of public transport in rural areas in Meath is now being threatened further. The National Transport Authority is actively seeking to cut the funding in rural transport in Meath when they should in truth be increasing it to the national average”.
“We have to understand that Meath has a higher transport need that most other counties. Meath has the highest number of commuters in the country. More Meath people leave the county to go to work than actually work in the county”.
“Meath has one of fastest growing populations in the country so our budgets should be increased rather than being cut. We have the biggest town in the country with no rail line. Bus Eireann services are more expensive here than anywhere else and indeed we have been plagued with a lack of reliability with Bus Éireann for years”.
“We have enormous swathes of smaller towns and villages with no public transport at all. In some areas one bus rolls in and out every day. The government has already closed down many Post Offices and Garda stations. Older people have to travel far further now to get basic services. How will they do that if there is no public transport? There is simply no alternative for so many.
“Four months ago we went through a general election where every political party called out in unison for better services in Rural Ireland and yet here we are 16 weeks later and already state agencies are planning to cut a key service to rural Meath.”