Cuts to rural transport will lead to isolation and loneliness – McFadden

Senator Nicky McFadden fears that people living alone will become increasingly isolated if rural transport services fall victim to cuts. The Fine Gael Senator for Longford/Westmeath said the rural bus service provides a real benefit to people at a relatively minor cost and should not be the focus of cutbacks.

“The rural transport service is very well utilised and I know people in rural areas who see it as a lifeline. For many, this service is their only means of getting to town to do their shopping, visit a doctor, collect their pension, attend their weekly Active Age Club and meet friends and neighbours. It is a service which helps combat loneliness and isolation, and in the long run can save the State money by allowing people to retain independence and live happier and healthier in their own home for longer. I fear that people living alone could actually go hungry, be unable to attend their doctor and not see a living soul from one end of the week to another if this service is removed.

“Nobody doubts how serious the economic circumstances of the country are, but good public services which are providing value for money should not be first on the chopping block. I have previously highlighted the value of this service in the Seanad and I will continue to advocate its retention and lobby Minister O’Cuiv to ensure that it remains.”

 

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