A campaign has been launched to extend the bus route from Laytown to Julianstown with a stop at the National Ecology Centre.

Sonaite Ecology Centre has been in existence for over 30 years and is still not served by public transport. There are no cycle lanes or footpaths along the dangerous and busy road either, so visitors must either drive there or take their chances cycling or walking.

Now Sonairte has launched a campaign to extend the D1/D2 Bus Éireann service from Laytown out a further 4km to Julianstown.

They also want a bus stop outside the Ecology Centre to make it more accessible to the public as a crucial community hub, natural amenity and source of local employment.

Since its founding in 1988, Sonairte has been an intrinsic part of both communities and is highly valued locally for its diversity of benefits in the areas of nature-connection, environmental education, community activities, mental health, family-friendly events and local organically-grown food, and is regularly used by individuals, families and groups in the East Meath, greater Meath and Louth area.

Dr Kim Reilly, the Chair of Sonairte’s Board has said: “Sonairte is an untapped community resource which would join up these two rural areas that have seen poorly-planned development and influx in population on a massive scale over the last 25 years without the appropriate commensurate infrastructure being provided simultaneously.

“This much-needed service would be in high demand by community members and would provide an array of benefits to the area by linking the two towns and the ecology centre together, serving to support a wider and more integrated community area. It would also have the added benefit of linking the ecology centre to the larger network of public transport, making it accessible to people who wish to avail of its ecological and environmental education resources from the wider community in Drogheda, Dublin, and beyond.”

“Please help to make our community a more connected, inclusive and environmentally-friendly place to live by signing and sharing the petition at the following link: http://chng.it/ZrjgN8sp