A new pilot programme for a localised, specially-licenced hackney service has been launched to help improve transport choices for people living in rural locations across the country.

Lordship in Louth and Drumconrath in Meath are among 21 rural locations included in the one year pilot scheme announced today by Transport Minister Eamon Ryan and the National Transport Authority.

The Local Hackney Pilot is a grant-aided programme, which is designed to encourage new part-time local hackney services to operate in communities which could not support a full time taxi or hackney operation.

All drivers will be licenced, insured and Garda-vetted and will be able to pick people up from their doors to drop them to where they want to go.

Applications can be made at localhackney.ie.